Mathematics in Structural Engineering

bridge 13062017

In Maths, Stage 4 and Stage 5 students are currently learning about mathematics in structural engineering. Students constructed their own bridges out of glue and paddle pop sticks and based their design on a Warren Truss bridge. Despite the shared Truss bridge design, all the students constructions were unique. The bridges were then tested for strength by comparing the load capacity of their bridge and the actual weight of their bridge in a formula.

This unit was a fun and practical way for students to learn more about engineering properties and the structural elements that contribute to a structures strength. Our students looked carefully at how a strong structure needs to account for compression and tension forces acting upon it.

Students particularly enjoyed watching their bridges collapsing under the weight of books and small slabs of stone.

The winner of the strongest bridge weighed only 135 grams and held a remarkable 15.6 kilograms in weight!. 

 

maths bridge lesson 130617

maths bridge 130617

bridge strength 13062017

Check out the slow motion video of one of our bridges collapsing

 

 

Students loved watching this amazing video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, highlighting when bridge construction goes wrong.