This Load It Up! activity also includes:
See how a marshmallow can hold up a bridge load. Teams take a closer look at the design of bridge piers. They determine the types of loads that might affect a bridge, and, using that information, they calculate the needed cross-sectional area of a pier. The groups then build model columns from clay, foam, or marshmallows and test their calculations.
- Because the columns will vary, even when built from the same substance, build several columns from the same material and repeat the test to find an average
- Class members should be able to calculate the area of a rectangle and understand compression and tension forces acting on bridges
- Determine a way to balance the books on the columns prior to the load tests
- The activity is the fifth out of 10 in the unit on bridges
- The PowerPoint presentation sets the stage as a hook about why it is important to have the proper support for a bridge
- The worksheet guides the class through the calculations