20 Minutes

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a time lapse video, but the opportunity arose a few weeks ago when the Tufts School of Engineering asked me to get some photos of its competitive steel bridge team. The team was prepping for the ASCE Steel Bridge competition, which, in a nutshell, requires a team to construct a fully functional bridge within 20 minutes. Simulating real-world scenarios, there are strict rules on where builders can stand, budgetary and economic considerations, and structural tests.

04/26/2011 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. - Ashley Martin (E13) and Team co-captain Justin Binder (E11) assemble a section of the bridge during a Tufts Engineering ASCE Steel Bridge Team practice session on April 26, 2011.  (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

04/26/2011 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. - Ashley Martin (E13) and Team co-captain Justin Binder (E11) assemble a section of the bridge during a Tufts Engineering ASCE Steel Bridge Team practice session on April 26, 2011. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

The whole buildup to the competition made for an easy opportunity to follow these students as they prepped and practiced for the big competition in Quebec. Right away, I was invested — seeing this bridge arise out of a bucket of bolts and some steel rails was pretty cool. The first day was pretty rough as the team troubleshooted potential problems. But, by the final night of practice, they seemed to find a rhythm. Unfortunately, they placed 6th out out of 13th in the conference championship.

Here’s 20+ minutes of construction condensed into 1 minute!

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