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Trine team builds best structure
at annual Plank-A-Palooza competition
Civil engineering students' design is No. 1 among 11 structures
ANGOLA - A Trine University team of senior civil engineering students won the best structure award recently at the third annual Plank-A-Palooza, sponsored by Early Childhood Alliance in Fort Wayne.
Trine’s team of Jared Adams of Sand Creek, Mich.; Harrison King, of Wauseon, Ohio; Cody Watkins, of Belleville, Mich.; and Jacob Williams, of Fairmount, all Chi Epsilon members, completed the structure in half the 30 minutes allowed. Chi Epsilon is Trine’s civil and environmental engineering honor society. Tim Tyler, Ph.D., is faculty adviser.
“We wanted something that would wow people; something that would display our creativity as civil engineering majors,” said King, the team leader. “We came up with a structure that was founded upon three legs, and eventually curved its way up into one point, a point that had empty space below it. The spiral on top was made with a basic triangle shape that rotated slowly as it went up.
“Though this applied our basic knowledge of static forces (learned in school), it was more of a guessing game and pure creativity that inspired the final product,” Harris said.
The competition featured 11 designs by teams from other schools and universities as well as architectural firms and private businesses.
Plank-A-Palooza teams use 500 KEVA planks – precision-cut maple blocks about ¼ by ¾ by 4½ inches that stack – to design and build a structure using only gravity, no adhesives or fasteners.
Photographed are, from left, Jacob Williams, Jared Adams, Cody Watkins and Harrison King with their winning structure.