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Sellwood Middle School students share bridge t-shirt design with commissioners

Project News - May 30, 2012
Lorenzo Walton, Alex DePaz, Greg Davis

Sellwood Middle School students Lorenzo Walton and Alex DePaz show t-shirt design with their teacher Greg Davis

Alex DePaz and Lorenzo Walton are two eighth grade students at Sellwood Middle School who have studied the Sellwood Bridge project as part of their science class.  The two students designed a t-shirt about the project for their class and shared their design with the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners at a hearing on May 31.

“Better Bridge, Better Portland” was the theme of their t-shirt design, which depicts a pedestrian, a bicycle and a truck crossing the bridge.  During the school year, the students and their class toured the bridge with project engineers, held a mock stakeholder meeting to design the bridge cross section, learned about Auto CAD design software, and built bridges out of gumdrops and tooth picks.

“What happened to the gumdrop bridges?” County Commissioner Judy Shiprack, asked the students.

“I think they were eaten,” replied their teacher Greg Davis.

The project’s School-based Outreach Program brings the bridge project to local elementary, middle, and high school classrooms through interactive educational programs. The program is designed to:

T-shirt design close-up

Close-up of t-shirt design by students Lorenzo Walton and Alex DePaz

  • Expose students to a variety of project-related careers, career paths and associated educational requirements
  • Increase awareness of the project among students, their teachers and families
  • Provide opportunities to increase understanding of the technical elements of the project
  • Provide students with an opportunity to create bridge-related class projects, such as art work, models, and wildlife habitat structures
  • Use the project as a real life civics lesson and provide students with multiple opportunities for engagement with public officials.

At the board meeting, Commissioner Deborah Kafoury announced that Benson High School will join the program in 2012-2013, in addition to Sellwood Middle School, Llewellyn Elementary, and the ACE Academy charter school.