Bridge of Sticks

Bridge of Pasta

Students in our Shelter Cluster have been hard at work building bridges!  As part of their studies of Structural Design, students explored the concepts of tension and compression and truss stability, touching upon trigonometry to learn about how different bridge designs manage the forces they must carry.  A photographic tour of interesting bridges around the world highlighted some of the strategies used by different engineers.

Next the students were challenged to build a bridge using a limited number of popsicle sticks and glue to see how much strength they could handle.  One bridge held over 40 kg!

Their most recent assignment was to build for aesthetics and design, using whatever materials they chose.  Some of the products were amazing!  One student, Grayson, built a copper bridge and wrote this fictional essay to accompany it:

This bridge was originally built in 1510 AD for an arboretum in Central Italy.  Made of layered copper sheets and about three meters across, the deck is only attached at the ends so that the walkway ripples like the flow of time.  The bridge crosses a small moat around a large sundial at the center of the arboretum.

Bridge of Copper

The bridge is polished at the beginning of each season and left to oxidize all year.  Those living nearby see the season progress in the amount of oxide that develops during the year.  This fits perfectly with the sundial which acts as a clock, and the moat, which is filled with the amount of water expected to evaporate over the course of the year.

The repolishing of the bridge is celebrated as the beginning of each season.  People from across the countryside come to feast and watch the royal smith polish the bridge back to its full shine.  Each 10 years, another layer of copper is added to the bridge to replace the amount removed during the oxidizing and polishing process.

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One Comment on “Bridges!”

  1. Zuzana Says:

    What a wonderful idea!!! Love the models!

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