Academy Of Innovation students build Old 80 bridge replica for Vicksburg Warren School District

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The eighth-grade science, technology, engineering and math class at the Vicksburg Warren School District’s Academy of Innovation modelers recently built a scale model of the Old Highway 80 Bridge out of Popsicle sticks.

The finished product was inspected Friday by Warren County Bridge Superintendent Herman Smith.

STEM student Samuel Ross said the work began about two weeks ago.

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“We were talking about the bridge and decided to take on the task,” he said.

The students used a scale where 1 inch equaled 10 feet. They used jigs to develop each panel of the bridge and spreadsheets to determine the length of the span.

“We each spent about five hours a day on it,” Ross said. “The bridge is a truss and cantilever bridge with a beam structure. It’s not a curved bridge, but the pieces fit at a specific angle to mimic a curved bridge.

STEM teacher Christopher Cagle said the project involved several disciplines.

“They used math to determine the bridge’s length, they learned the history of the bridge and Vicksburg’s relationship to the river and there was science because they learned the challenges of the river,” he said.

“The student leadership completed the bridge; I provided the tools, the extra confidence and the positive support.”

The class assembled the bridge in an open area at the school and got it ready for inspection by Smith, who walked alongside the structure.

“It looks pretty good,” he said.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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