Billiken BEAMS - Building a Bridge to Civil Engineering

March 4, 2013
Civil Engineering, Parks College News

billiken-beams-bannerThe Third Annual Billiken BEAMS (Building Engineering Awareness in Metro St. Louis Schools) Competition was held Saturday, Feb. 23. More than 100 high school students, teachers and parents joined SLU students, faculty and staff for the event at Chesterfield Mall.

Hosted by SLU’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter and Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, the event is designed to foster an interest in engineering among St Louis Metropolitan area high school students and help SLU students understand the value of good citizenship and service.

billiken-beams-2013SLU civil engineering students and faculty helped train the high school students to design, draw and structurally analyze their balsa-wood bridges using computer modeling. This year, 22 bridges were made by metropolitan area high schools teams who participated in the competition. The objective of the competition is to see who can design, construct and test the most efficient bridge.

“This year’s venue was great because not only the students friends and family saw their projects, but members for the community could also see the good work they have done,” said Riyadh Hindi, Ph.D., associate professor of Civil Engineering at Parks College.

Open to high school students in the metropolitan St. Louis area, the Billiken BEAMS competition is a group-based project opportunity in which students use their innovation to build a structure and then compete against other groups from the area.

“It is wonderful to see high school students involved in projects that encourage them to start thinking like real-life engineers.”

- Riyadh Hindi, Ph.D.

This year’s winners included:

  • 1st place: Gateway STEM High School (Team 2)
  • 2nd place: Central Community High School Team
  • 3rd place: Gateway STEM High School (Team 1)
  • Aesthetics: Trinity Catholic High School Team

Next year’s competition will be held on February 22, 2014. For more information or questions about the Billiken BEAMS, visit or Dr. Riyadh Hindi, Director of Billiken BEAMS, at or by calling (314) 977-8547.

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