Engineering Project: Bridge Design and Construction

Spaghetti Bridges:

PURPOSE OF PROJECT: This is a fun hands on way to introduce students to engineering in an engaging and realistic way. Civil engineers design structures such as buildings, dams, highways and bridges. Students explore the field of engineering by making a bridge using spaghetti as their primary building material. Then they test their bridges to see how much weight they can carry before breaking. 

STEM STANDARDS APPLIED: Scientifically students learn to see force and compression in action. Students apply mathematics by practicing scale, geometric functions like apex, obtuse, equilateral, right, and isosceles triangles, and more. Students learn the considerations engineers must think about as they create products in order to ensure they are safe, functional, and effective.
 
 
This project will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Learn about engineering through a realistic, hands-on problem-solving experience.
  • Learn about the engineering design process--the application of math, science, and technology to create devices and systems that meet human needs.
  • Learn about truss bridges and how they work.

Resources:

  1. Bridge Basics
  2. Truss Bridges: Article
  3. Discover Engineering
  4. Tips for building a successful spaghetti bridge
  5. Model Bridge Design: This will help you determine dimensions of bridge.
  6. Truss Design
  7. Tips
  8. Mrs. V's Quick Tips and Bridge Specs.

Videos:

Materials Needed:

  1. Spaghetti (standard)
  2. Glue (white glue or hot glue)
  3. Graph Paper and pencil
  4. Ruler
  5. Plastic wrap
  6. Rubber bands
  7. Scissors or cutting device
  8. A level
  9. Scale

Instructions:



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