Your Privacy


In developing the ENGINEERING ENCOUNTERS Bridge Design Contest (EEBDC), we have made every effort to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). We strongly support the provisions of COPPA and pledge to use all personal information collected from contestants solely for appropriate contest administration. We will delete this information at the conclusion of the contest.

As part of the online registration process, each eligible contestant will be required to provide his or her name, age, grade, e-mail address, school name, and school city. This information will be used only for verification of eligibility and notification of winners.

Contestants will also be asked to provide information on their gender and ethnic background. This information is optional and is requested solely for the purpose of assessing whether the contest has been successful in reaching out to women and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the engineering profession. It will be used only to compile aggregated statistical summaries of contest participation.

No information collected during registration for the EEBDC will be disclosed to any third parties, except for the following:

  • The names of the winners of the Final Round may be made public for the purpose of contest publicity.
  • A number of local contests will be offered in conjunction with the EEBDC. To support these local contests, we will provide the names and e-mail addresses of the top finishers to the appropriate local contest coordinator, at or near the end of the Qualifying Round. This information will be provided solely for the purpose of notifying the local contest winners, consistent with the “one-time contact exception” in the COPPA statute.

Data collection for the Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest is the responsibility of the EEBDC Contest Director, Dr. Stephen Ressler. He can be contacted at

Special Provisions for the Semi-Final Round

Although COPPA requires that parental consent be obtained prior to requesting an e-mail address from a child under age 13, the statute allows an exception for “one-time contact” with the child.  This exception applies to contestants’ participation in the Qualifying Round of the EEBDC.  However, because we will need to have additional e-mail communications with any contestants who qualify for the Semi-Final Round, we are legally required to obtain parental consent for semi-finalists under the age of 13.

If a contestant qualifies for the Semi-Final Round of the EEBDC, the Contest Coordinator will notify the contestant by e-mail, using the address provided in the contestant’s registration. At that point, if the contestant is under age 13, the Contest Coordinator will seek parental consent.  If the child does not provide the parent’s contact information, or if the parent (or guardian) is unwilling to provide consent, we will refrain from any further direct contact with the contestant. In this circumstance, if the parent (or guardian) agrees to receive all contest-related communications on behalf of the child, the child will be permitted to continue participating in the Semi-Final and Final Rounds. If not, the contestant will be disqualified from further participation.