Carnegie Mellon University
February 17, 2011

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon's Cyert Center Celebrates Engineers Week With Model Clay Bridge-Building Challenge


Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

Event: Carnegie Mellon University's Cyert Center for Early Education's Program for Collaborative Learning is helping to train tomorrow's engineers with a model clay bridge-building challenge. The challenge coincides with National Engineers Week Feb. 20-26.

"The challenge was developed to help children ages 4 1/2 to 6 get a better appreciation for Pittsburgh's important bridge history," said Judy Abrams, Cyert Center program director, who noted that more than 400 bridges span the rivers traversing Western Pennsylvania hills and valleys.

Cyert Center students are putting their own artistic style and design to the bridge project with clay models and two-dimensional drawings that include real wire braces and trusses.

"It all started with 6-year-old Rohan Skykora, who showed a keen interest in bridges, including their shapes and sizes," said Sandy Johns and Suzanne Grove, Cyert Center educators. A half dozen bridge designs and models are displayed at the center. 

Cyert Center parents with engineering backgrounds will share their knowledge about bridges with the class. "Many of our students' parents are engineering professors at Carnegie Mellon, so we plan to tap that expertise for our bridge building sessions," Abrams said.

Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Engineers Week is celebrated annually by thousands of engineers, engineering students, teachers and leaders in government and business.

When: 12:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 18.

Where: Cyert Center for Early Education, 5000 Forbes Ave., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213.