Physics Bridge Project

Design for a final bridge

Kylie Drayer, Contributor

Recently, students in Mr. Wolff’s Physics class began an engineering unit that focuses on bridges. To begin the unit, the students took a pretest to see how much they already knew about bridges. After that, they began to design bridges on the West Point Bridge Designer software program. When creating the bridge design, stability was not the only concern; cost effectiveness was also taken into account.

Later the students were given templates for a sample bridge. The sample bridge is used to get ideas for the main bridge that will be built later. The sample bridge had to be constructed using only 4 pieces of balsa wood. They were then tested by attaching a string and bucket to the bridge. Sand was added to the bucket until the bridge collapsed. Once the sample bridges were tested, they had to be reassembled so they could be used for ideas to improve the construction of the final bridge.

Now, students are beginning to design the final bridges. These bridges will be tested the same way as the sample bridges. Check out the slideshow to look at some of the sample bridges that students in Physics have created!