In May 2011, a number of area students participating in SMU's Summer Youth Program undertook a project sponsored by The Trinity Trust to learn about the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, by constructing a replica of the bridge.

Video: Teaser For Tonight’s Bridge Documentary at the Texas Theater

In May 2011, a number of area students participating in SMU’s Summer Youth Program undertook a project sponsored by The Trinity Trust to learn about the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, by constructing a replica of the bridge. Their efforts were captured in a short documentary film, which will be screened twice tonight at The Texas Theater. Below you’ll find a trailer for documentary, as well as more information about the program, which will include a panel conversation about the bridge, its design and engineering.

The Trinity Trust Presents Calatrava Student Constructors: A World Premiere Educational Outreach Film on January 23

DALLAS, Texas, January 23, 2011 – On January 23, The Trinity Trust will roll out the red carpet to a dozen 8th and 9th grade students who built the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, or a large-scale model of it, in one day.

The public is invited to join them to watch the world premiere film, Calatrava Student Constructors, at The Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson Blvd., Dallas, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

The Trinity Trust presents Calatrava Student Constructors in partnership with SMU’s Summer Youth Program of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, SMU’s Talented and Gifted Program and The Study Center, Inc.

In between film screenings, an esteemed panel of engineering and construction representatives who built the actual Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, will answer questions and provide insight as to its architecture and construction.

The program:

6:00 p.m.  Reception

6:30 p.m.  1st screening of film (20 minutes)

7:00 p.m.  Panel discussion with panelists:

Bill Doreen, Williams Brothers Construction

Duane Milligan, Texas Department of Transportation

Charlie Quade, Huitt-Zollars, Inc.

Jim McTaggart, VSL

Rebecca Rasor, Trinity River Project/City of Dallas

L.C. Tubb, MICA Corporation

8:00 p.m.  2nd screening of film (20 minutes)

Reservations are required, and space is limited. To RSVP, call Cindi Welch at 214.740.1616 or email cindi@thetrinitytrust.org. A suggested donation of $10 is recommended, and a cash bar is available.

Created by Emmy award-winning producer Judy Kelly, this 20-minute educational outreach film followed local public and private school students who were selected to become engineers for a day and to construct a 20-foot long replica of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge with cables and roads at The Trinity Trust office where actual models and maps reside.

In May 2011, Ms. Kelly first documented the students’ visit to the bridge site, where they met with City of Dallas Trinity River Project Director Rebecca Rasor, and VSL’s Cable Installation Manager Jim McTaggart. Upon their return to The Trinity Center, David Abbondanzio, Managing Director of the Study Center, taught the students using a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) framework.  

Kelly said, “The classroom and the model construction processes were captured in the film in the hope that students throughout the DFW area could learn how the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge works.  The most dramatic moment came when the false work was removed and the finished model, complete with the 8 foot high signature arch piece and all 58 cables, floated on its own—an engineering marvel.”

Through the generosity of the SMU Talented and Gifted program, a scholarship to the TAG program for summer 2011 was awarded to Simon Cohen, now a Booker T. Washington freshman, who recently spoke about his experiences at TEDxKIDS@SMU. Cohen said, “The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is like a dream.  When you look at it, the final version, it’s breath-taking and it almost seems magical… but once taken through the step-by-step process, you can really understand the complexity, but also why it fits together so well.”

Special thanks to the Presenters: The Trinity Trust, SMU’s Summer Youth Program of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, SMU’s Talented and Gifted Program. Additional co-sponsors of the film premiere include American Council of Engineering Companies of Dallas; Dallas Architectural Forum; Dallas Center for Architecture; Dallas CityDesign Studio; Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce; The Real Estate Council; Texas Society of Architects/AIA; West Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

The star students included the following:

Roland Baumann, Dallas International School

Kalen Beacham, Greenhill School

Simon Cohen, W.B. Travis Academy

Ali de Jong, Ursuline Academy

Star Jackson, North Mesquite High School

Jaylin Knight, Agnew Middle School

Ricardo Mojica, Conrad High School

Gabrielle Munoz, The Hockaday School

Rubi Perez, Irma Rangel YWLS

Claire Richey, North Hills Prep

Angelica Sanjuan, Townview School of Science and Engineering

Rachael Shima, Bishop Dunne Catholic School