It may be the lightest and softest member of the hardwood family, but balsa wood (along with roughly 30 students and two teachers from Capital High and Helena High) was the material of the moment at Morrison-Maierle’s first Balsa Wood Bridge Contest.

Led by Russ Lay, a bridge engineer in our Helena office, the contest required students to design and construct bridges using only the featherweight balsa wood and glue. The students, some who worked in teams and others who worked individually, created miniature bridges that were tested and ranked based on their strength-to-weight ratio.