Engineering Tech Prep Class, Greenville High School Career Technical Education

Balsa Wood Floating Gantry Frame Competition

February 22, 2023

In commemoration of National Engineer’s Week (Feb. 19-25, 2023), the Engineering Tech Prep Class at Greenville High School held an annual competition involving the construction of balsa wood structures. The fifteenth annual competition partnering with Mote & Associates was held on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.  In the past, bridges, boom cranes, and earthquake resistant multi-story towers have been constructed of balsa wood.  This year, balsa wood gantry frames were built on floating styrofoam platforms.  Structures were placed in two pools of water and were built to support weight of sand in a bucket suspended from the frame between the two pools.  The structures were subjected to weighted loading to determine the efficiency of the models based on weight held divided by weight of structure.  The structure with the best efficiency won.

Opening the event, Greenville Mayor Steve Willman read and presented a Proclamation professing the week of Feb. 19-25, 2023 as National Engineer’s Week in the City of Greenville.  Other guests present included:

  • Tamala Marley, Darke County Economic Development Workforce Specialist
  • Melanie Nealeigh, Darke County Economic Development Office Manager
  • Jerry McClannan, Mote & Associates, Inc.
  • Corey Bremigan, Mote & Associates, Inc.
  • Garret Price, Mote & Associates, Inc.
  • Cassandra Rose, Mote & Associates, Inc.

Engineering Tech Prep Teachers Kyle Harter and Tom Warner determined the guidelines for this year’s competition.  Classes of junior and senior students including 35 students on 9 teams were instructed to build gantry frames of balsa wood.  Jerry McClannan and Corey Bremigan of Mote & Associates were able to mentor the students as they prepared their designs the day prior to the competition.

Construction of the designs all took place during school the day before and the morning of the competition. The competition took place at 1:00 P.M.  The winning teams were:

  • First place structure with an efficiency of 893% – Luke Rammel, Noah Stevens, Nolan Ellis, and Asher Garber
  • Second place structure with an efficiency of 792% – Caiden Lecklider, Hunter McCafferty, Hunter McMiller, and Jack Chick
  • Third place structure with an efficiency of 773% – Tyson Pool, Gavin Swank, Noah Rouse, and Aiden Dispennette

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



1st Place – Luke Rammel, Noah Stevens, Nolan Ellis, and Asher Garber


2nd Place – Caiden Lecklider, Hunter McCafferty, and Hunter McMiller (Jack Chick absent) 


3rd Place – Tyson Pool, Gavin Swank, and Noah Rouse (Aiden Dispennette absent)