Building (and Breaking) Bridges

Most engineers would never think of designing and building something just to destroy it. Yet that’s exactly what upper school students in Laura Nickerson’s Advanced Physics course have been doing.

Advanced Physics student begin building their bridges

The class has been using their physics knowledge to build balsa wood bridges. Once complete, they will proceed to collapse the bridges by gradually adding weight until it fails. Which type of bridge will support the most weight? Which bridge has the best construction? Does the length of the bridge have an effect on how much weight it can hold? These questions will be answered later in the week when builders become destroyers.

In the meantime, check out some photos of the initial stages of the bridge building process in our Flickr gallery. Stay tuned for another post where we will see the bridges coming down.


  1. Building (and Breaking) Bridges, Part 2 | BCDS mashUp - December 18, 2009

    […] few weeks ago, we posted photos of Laura Nickerson’s advanced physics class building balsa wood bridges. The […]

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