BY EMILY GUEVARA
Two Chapel Hill High School graduates placed in the top 10 at the recent National Technology Student Association competition in Orlando, Fla.
Julio Espinoza and Michael Harris, both of whom graduated this year, placed ninth in structural engineering at the event, which took place about a week ago.
The students competed but did not qualify for the finals in the architectural renovation competition.
Chapel Hill High School’s drafting technology teacher Tony Adams said the students had less than three hours to build a bridge using basswood, X-Acto knives and special glue for woodworking.
The next day it was tested on a machine to measure how much weight it could hold. Their bridge, which was 12 inches long, held 176 pounds, the third-highest weight. However, judges determined the winners by the efficiency ratio, which related the bridge’s weight to the weight it holds.
Harris and Espinoza placed first in structural engineering and first in the architectural renovation model categories at state to qualify for nationals.
Both plan to study engineering in college with Espinoza headed to Tyler Junior College and Harris bound for Texas A&M University.
Adams said many of his former students have gone on to become successful engineers and architects.
“It really makes me feel good,” he said. “I think a few of the things that we’re doing are catching on.”