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CR 2/07/2018

LBJ EXPRESS tests the civil engineering skills of 180 students

Sessions were held in a STEM camp during three days

On Wednesday, June 20, LBJ Infrastructure Group (LBJIG), the company who operates and maintains the LBJ Express and the LBJ TEXpress Lanes, tested the civil engineering skills of 180 middle school students at a three-day, STEM camp. The camp was organized by Carrollton-Farmers Branch Education Foundation (CFB Giving) and was held at Barbara Bush Middle School, part of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD (CFBISD), for the second year in a row. After the success of last year’s LBJ Express Bridge Design Challenge, LBJIG was invited to return.

For LBJIG’s Day, the team developed a new challenge called the LBJ Express Structure Design Challenge which asked students to build a tower that was both tall and strong. Twenty-five volunteers from LBJIG, NTE Mobility Partners (NTEMP) and North Tarrant Infrastructure (NTI) joined together to represent LBJ Express at the camp.

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The camp’s morning and afternoon sessions were filled with great anticipation as students waited for LBJ Express to present them with a new, STEM challenge. First, the LBJ Express group taught the students engineering concepts and showed them real-life examples of structures created by civil engineers. Then, the students were provided with the rules of the challenge, given the winning formula and directed to their classrooms to start building with only the K’NEX pieces provided to them.

Students felt their competitive spirit come alive as they were only given 90 minutes to complete the STEM activity. The rules for the challenge were as follows: a tower that could hold one ream of paper and stand at least 4 feet tall with a minimum loading point (where reams of paper are held) of 4 feet from the ground. If the tower did not meet this criteria, it would not qualify in the final round of the competition. Students put their new, civil engineering knowledge to work with the advice of the LBJ Express group when needed.

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When time was up, students raced to the main room for judging. Each tower stood tall and appeared to meet all the criteria. As the judging process began, students were eager to see which team’s tower held the most weight. The winning tower was 4 feet 9 inches tall and held 15 reams of paper. Teams were awarded First, Second and Third Place. Overall, students successfully applied what they learned and developed critical thinking, teamwork and public speaking skills.

The LBJ Infrastructure Group was one of three corporate sponsors to partner with CFB Giving and CFBISD for this three-day STEM summer camp.

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