Building (and Breaking) Bridges, Part 2

A few weeks ago, we posted photos of Laura Nickerson’s advanced physics class building balsa wood bridges. The students’ goal was to design and construct a bridge that could hold as much weight as possible.

The winning bridge supporting full bucket of sand plus additional weight

On Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving break, students gathered in Ms. Nickerson’s room for the big event. Each bridge was fitted with a support device. A bucket was hung from the device and filled with sand until the bridge failed. The bridge that held the most weight was the declared the winner.

Katie Hayward ’11 led the way with a bridge that held 600 times its own weight. Coming in second was Alec Dede ’11 whose bridge held 500 times its own weight.

Following the testing, students were asked to write a reflection about their bridge and why it performed the way it did.

We want to know what you think. Why did Katie and Alec’s bridge hold up under that much weight? Take a look at the complete photo set in the Flickr gallery and post your response in the comments.

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