Introduction to the basic concepts employed by the structural engineer when designing and building bridges including load, dimensions, and materials. Study of the different types of bridges and the factors that go into deciding the most suitable type, dimensions, and material for a bridge. Using a computer program to predict the overall strength and weight of a structure as well as how well a structure performs under different loads. Design, build, and test an actual bridge.
…be introduced to some of the basic concepts employed by structural engineers when designing and building bridges. … learn about the different types of loads that bridges must be able to withstand (dead loads, live loads, and other loads). …learn about the types of forces that bridges must be able to withstand. … see how different materials are suited to withstand these forces. See Document for this activity
…use the Model Smart software application to design computer-based two- dimensional bridge models. …use the software to predict the strength of different styles of bridges by applying virtual loads to the computer generated model bridge. See Document for this activity
… construct a rectangular box out of balsa wood and glue. … test the structure by applying a load to the midspan until the structure breaks. … observe how the performance of the structure is affected by the quality of construction, any loading eccentricity, and the presence of any defects in the wood. …learn how to find the performance ratio of the structure. See Document for this activity
… design, build, and test a bridge which is no more than 20”long and 2” wide using glue and balsa wood. … find the performance ratio of the bridge, just as in activity 4. See Document for this activity