Engineering Tech Prep Class


GREENVILLE – Engineering Tech Prep Class, Greenville High School Career Technical Education.

Balsa Wood Crane Competition.

In commemoration of National Engineer’s Week (Feb. 18-24, 2024), the Engineering Tech Prep Class at Greenville High School held an annual competition involving the construction of balsa wood structures. The sixteenth annual competition partnering with Mote & Associates was held on Friday, March 1, 2024 (after a school delay the week before resulted in a postponement). In the past, bridges, boom cranes, and earthquake resistant multi-story towers have been constructed of balsa wood. This year, balsa wood boom cranes were built to support the weight of sand in a bucket suspended from the crane. The sand was added to the bucket as each boom crane was connected to a platform wall until it collapsed. The structure holding the most weight with the highest efficiency won the competition. Efficiency was calculated by dividing the weight held in the bucket by the structure’s weight. 

Opening the event, Greenville Mayor Jeff Whitaker read and presented a Proclamation professing the week of Feb. 18-24, 2024, as National Engineer’s Week in the City of Greenville. Other guests present included:

  • Mike Bowers, Darke County Economic Development Director
  • Melanie Nealeigh, Darke County Economic Development Office Manager
  • Jerry McClannan, Mote & Associates, Inc.
  • Heath Riffell, Mote & Associates, Inc.
  • Alex Strait, Mote & Associates, Inc.
  • Jake Barr, Mote & Associates, Inc.
  • Jake Subler, Mote & Associates, Inc.

Engineering Tech Prep Teachers Mike Manix and Joshua Moore determined the guidelines for this year’s competition. Classes of junior and senior students, including 29 students on seven teams, were instructed to build crane booms of balsa wood. Jerry McClannan, Tamera McNulty, Alex Strait, Jake Barr, and Jake Subler of Mote & Associates were able to mentor the students as they began preparing their designs on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

On the morning of the competition, each team completed the construction of their project design. The competition took place at 12:30 P.M.  The winning teams were:

  • The first-place structure with an efficiency of 5,603% – Tryston Good, Luke Kiser, Shyanne Gibboney, and Hunter McMiller.
  • The second-place structure with an efficiency of 5,579% – TJ Barr, Trevor Marden, Ava Dutton, and Ryan Burrowes.
  • The third-place structure with an efficiency of 5,109% – Gavin Swank, Aiden Dispennette, Caidyin Addis, and Ashtun Kincaid.

The winning team will receive certificates and gifts from Mote & Associates.