Levittown and East Setauket students advanced to the 2015 International Bridge Building Contest in Portland, Oregon, after taking the top two spots in a regional competition.
Division Avenue High School junior Joey Nepravishta and Ward Melville High School senior Michael Skolnick placed first and second, respectively, in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2015 Model Bridge Building Contest.
"I'm pretty happy, but I wasn't expecting to win," said Nepravishta, 17, who placed third in last year's regional. "It really wasn't anything too fancy -- it was a simple truss."
The BNL contest, which attracted more than 190 students from 11 local high schools, challenged teens to design double-decker bridges of balsa wood and glue that weighed less than 30 grams. A device that presses on the bridge was used to determine its "efficiency," calculated by dividing the weight held by the bridge by the weight of the bridge itself.
"I think what made it so successful is how precisely I built it," said Skolnick, who placed first in last year's regional. "It's more than just a hobby to me."
Nepravishta ranked 13th and Skolnick was 35th among 56 ranked competitors in the international contest, held April 25.