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Pittsfield High School students hope to preserve bridge history

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Students from Pittsfield High School visited the construction site on Friday. Students from Pittsfield High School visited the construction site on Friday.
PIKE COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Students from Pittsfield High School got an on-site lesson at one of the Tri-States most important bridges Friday.

Mike Smith's physics class spent part of their morning at the Champ Clark Bridge, with a main purpose in mind.

"To see real construction in action, and to see how engineering is turned into an actually physical thing that will be here for decades and hundreds of years." Smith said.

The class is competing with multiple area schools to honor the old bridge. They're vying for the chance to create a monument with pieces of the original Champ Clark Bridge.

Students like Chandler Hayden said it's exciting to learn both science and history outside of the classroom. 

"We sit down, and we learn stuff from books, but to be able to get out of the classroom, and really get involved in the community, and areas around us,"  Hayden said. "I think it's really interesting."

That sentiment was echoed by Alayna Scranton who said Friday's field trip was a very intriguing one.

"When I think of construction, I think a lot of us do too, we just think of houses, and room redecorating." Scranton said. "A lot of us don't think of this on a really large commercial scale with all this steel, and concrete and stuff. It's cool to see this up close and personal."

Smith added that his students recognize the importance of this project, and they hope they're chosen to carry on it's legacy. 

"We're the only Illinois school involved, and that's a source of pride for the kids and for their parents, and we're really looking forward to what we've got a chance to do here." Smith said.

A monument design winner will be announced in April, with the monument going up in Fall of 2019 when the project is completed.

Other schools taking part in the competition include Louisiana High School, Hannibal High School, Bowling Green High School, Pike-Lincoln Technical Center in Eolia, as well as Clopton High School.

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