Engineering students build 20-foot bridge for display at MnSCU State Fair booth

Posted: August 23, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

A 20-foot steel bridge designed and constructed by engineering students and faculty from Minnesota State University, Mankato will be featured at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities State Fair booth.

The bridge symbolizes the system's initiative that encourages students to take courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM. The initiative is aimed at addressing the growing demand for college graduates who can reason, solve problems and innovate using math, science, engineering and technology. A wide variety of two- and four-year STEM-related programs is available at the 32 state colleges and universities.

The booth also will feature a “Fab House,” designed as an easy-to-assemble “instant shelter” after Hurricane Katrina, and smaller prototypes “printed” in 3D from glue, cornstarch and plaster. The cutting-edge student projects were made at Century College’s Digital Fabrication Lab, known as the Fab Lab, which is part of a global network and the only one of its kind in the state.

Information about the system’s short-term training and education programs that can lead to new careers and job promotions for adult student also will be available. Many programs take less than a year to complete and lead to entry-level jobs or higher-level jobs for individuals who add credentials in their fields. Many of these programs are available online.

Other booth features include prizes that will be awarded once an hour to fairgoers who spin the "Wheel of Luck" and a blog about activities in the booth.

Board of Trustees, state college and university presidents, along with college and university representatives, will be on hand to discuss educational opportunities.

The booth is in the Education Building on Cosgrove Street near the fair’s main entrance.