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Construction Technologies: Create the Strongest Bridge

Construction Technologies: Create the Strongest Bridge
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Students work in pairs to create three simple types of model bridges (beam, arch, suspension). They observe quantitatively how the bridges work under load and why engineers use different types of bridges for different places. They also get an idea of the parts needed to build bridges, and their functions. The strength of model bridges is mainly a factor of the quality of materials used, and therefore they do not provide a clear visual representation of tension and compression forces involved. Yet, students are able to see these forces at work in three prototype designs and draw conclusions about their dependence on span, width and supporting structures of the bridge designs. This engineering curriculum meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
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2 hours
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