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      Negaunee students have something to brag about

      Winning four straight national championships is an accomplishment that would make any sports team jealous. But sports aren't what these students are being recognized for.

      Students at Negaunee High School have won the last four national championships in the American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials bridge building competition.

      While some of these students might not choose Civil Engineering as a career, they are still gaining something from the experience.

      "We're just learning to work as a team in a business setting. We're learning to write proposals and work on our design as a team and bring our ideas together collectively," said student Jeremy Bell.

      The process begins with studying what works and what doesn't. Next, it's time to take the elements that work best and design a model of their own. This is where computers are very helpful. Computers allow students to design a bridge, and then they can build their own model out of balsa wood, based on their computer drawing.

      "We have to make sure we have the right measurements, and the right angles is the biggest deal; getting the right angles for each piece individually," said student Eric Rigling.

      Once a bridge is built, it's make or break time to see how much weight it can stand. If it's weak, that means it's back to the drawing board.

      "You want to create the most efficient bridge, you don't want to waste money in making a bridge. So we cut down on things that don't necessarily go into making the bridge stronger and that ups our efficiency," Bell said.

      They're obviously doing something right to take home all of those accolades. Good luck this year.