The Physics of Bridges

Stability is key when building a bridge. Scholars explore the forces acting upon bridges through an analysis of Newton's Laws and Hooke's Law. The activity asks individuals to apply their learning by building a bridge of their own.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Conduct a competition to determine the bridge with the best holding capacity
Classroom Considerations
  • Expects previous knowledge of force-free body diagrams
  • Requires advance preparation and a specific set of materials
Pros
  • Provides a rubric for each day of instruction to assess learning
  • Gives detailed directions for preparation of each day's activities
Cons
  • None
NGSS