Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bridge Building - Part 1

My husband in his former life was a Civil Engineer and designed bridges. My friend found the Bridges book at a thrift store so with that and the bridge that collapsed north of us in the spring we are designing a bridges class about designing bridges. I say designing because we are just doing it a class at a time. We are using K'nex to build our bridges.

We began our time with a bit of a powerpoint showing some beam bridges and truss bridges and a bit of lecture learning about force, tension, compression, load, and strength. The first type of bridge that we talked about were beam bridges.

The other bridge that we learned about were truss bridges. I learned all the different kinds of truss bridges. The one thing that they have in common are that they are triangles.

Then the challenge was to build a truss bridge that was 5 inches wide and 3 feet long. Then it was time to build.

The K'nex came out and the building began.

Then when the bridges were finished. We tested them to see how much load they could hold before collapsing.

Bob went first and his bridge complete with some decoration could hold about 15 pounds before collapsing.

Miss K's bridge which was built with dad help about 10 pounds. Her bridge didn't have any many levels. Here she gets ready to watch her bridge be tested.

Here it is. I think the engineer dads had as much fun as the kids. It was an engineering task to design the way to test the bridges.

It was a fun evening and the next time we are going to study arch bridges.

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