The Tacoma Narrows Fallacy

Prove your textbook wrong! A detailed video lesson debunks a traditional explanation for the collapse of a bridge in Tacoma in the 1940s. The narrator outlines why resonance is not the culprit and explains the concept of aeroelastic flutter as the true cause.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Find a video of the Tacoma bridge to show prior to the lesson video
  • Include an example of an incorrect textbook explanation for the bridge failing
Classroom Considerations

  • Assumes an understanding of resonance
Pros

  • Offers multiple possible explanations before giving the correct explanation
  • Embeds actual video of the bridge during the lesson
Cons

  • None