Learning Which Shapes are Strong
A lesson in engineering. Using popsicle sticks and glue, teams designed and built bridges that were entered in the APEG BC (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC) competition at Douglas College over the weekend.
The students learned that triangles are stronger than other shapes, and that challenging your design is the way to make advancements in the design.
Each bridge was loaded with a rig that measured the number of newtons of pressure that could be applied to the bridge deck before collapsing. Students then had feedback on how their design could have been stronger.
Tips included narrowing the width of the bridge, changing the orientation of the sticks on the bridge deck, mounting the bridge decks through the triangle of the truss, and using more glue!!
Sampling of Bridges at the Competition