Re-Building a Bridge

Today we had to design and build a bridge that would safely transport 9000 people at a time! The students used materials like straws, spaghetti, clay, and toilet paper rolls to make prototypes. After building, we tested them by placing weights on the bridge until failure, or until the maximum weight was supported – a successful design! After the first round of testing, the students identified the weak points in their bridges and made changes to their designs to improve them. We ended by testing their revised designs to see if they were able to improve their outcomes. Prototype testing and redesign are both important steps in the Engineering Design Process, a process we definitely used today! Extend this lesson with another engineering challenge: turning a pizza box into a solar oven!

(Re)-construyendo un puente

¡Hoy tuvimos que diseñar y construir un puente que transportara de manera segura a 9000 personas a la vez! Los estudiantes usaron materiales como pajitas, spaghetti, arcilla y rollos de papel higiénico para hacer prototipos. Después de construirlos, los pusimos a prueba: ya sea colocando pesas en el puente hasta que fallaran, o hasta que soportaran el peso máximo: ¡un diseño exitoso! Después de la primera ronda de pruebas, los estudiantes identificaron los puntos débiles en sus puentes e hicieron cambios en sus diseños para mejorarlos. Terminamos probando los diseños revisados ​​para ver si mejoraban sus resultados. Las pruebas y el rediseño de prototipos son pasos importantes en el proceso de diseño de ingeniería, ¡un proceso que definitivamente utilizamos hoy! Amplíe esta lección con otro desafío de ingeniería: convertir una caja de pizza en un horno solar.

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Author

Leighann

Leighann Sullivan earned her BS in Biology from Cornell University. For a number of years she taught math, science, and language skills at a secondary school for learning disabled students. She subsequently earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University. Her dissertation was entitled, “Molecular and Genomic Analyses in Clostridium acetobutylicum.” When not pursuing academic interests she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and experimenting in the culinary arts.

1 Comment:

  • avatar
    Sandra Earley / Reply

    Our engineers were excited to learn that they were the only class to have every group succeed at holding the weights! Thanks for another great lesson =)

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