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JCC students test engineering, design skills

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CLAYTON — Engineering students at Johnston Community College put their bridge designing skills to the test recently during the Grifols Popsicle stick bridge contest.

This is the second time JCC has participated in the event. There were 29 students led by engineering instructor Albert Brewer.

Ed Sierra of Four Oaks and Francisco Valdivia of Middlesex received the first-place award for the most aesthetically pleasing bridge in the college division. They also received first place for the most innovative bridge.

Hampton Moore of Selma, Joshua Murphy of Smithfield and Ayden Ferrell of Clayton received the second-place award for most aesthetically pleasing bridge and also took second for most innovative bridge.

Three JCC teams placed in the award for highest efficiency rating. Omar Phillpotts of Garner, Brandon Thompson of Smithfield and Aaron Penny of Four Oaks took first place. Dylan Mason of Clayton, Colin Tart of Garner and Andrew Topoly of Smithfield received the second-place designation. Rayne Sharrett of Clayton and Joshua Boyd of Clayton got the third-highest efficiency rating.

“The competition helps students learn teamwork, effective communication skills, project and time management, along with how to design and build a structure with high quality and within specifications to perform a task before a deadline in order to qualify and be competitive,” said Brewer. “These are real functions STEM students will face in their college curriculum and careers in a competitive global marketplace.”

A total of 46 teams representing middle, high school and college students in Johnston County participated in the event.