Bridge Building, Bridge Breaking

Photo of DO-IT Scholars designing a bridge
DO-IT Scholars designing a bridge

At the DO-IT camp there was a civil engineering class taught by Mr. Frank Lee. Mr. Lee has a degree in mechanical engineering and teaches at Bellevue Community College.

Mr. Lee's class was about civil engineering, one of my favorite subjects. The class was about bridge building and different kinds of stress.

Mr. Lee showed us a few examples of different types of stress. Stress affects pieces called members that are part of structures like bridges, skyscrapers etc... He then gave us the same assignment that he had given his other students a few weeks before. The assignment was to build a bridge that had to span or cross six feet or about two meters. The materials were 10 yards of 10 pound test fishing line, two 3/8" dowels four feet long and one 30"X40" sheet of 3/16" foam core board.

We only had one week to build our bridges. Mr. Lee broke us up into three teams.

The day before the contest a custodian threw away all the materials for our bridge building contest, so Sheryl Burgstahler told us to draw a picture of each bridge to show to Mr. Lee.

We got to watch his students break their bridges. We all enjoyed watching or hearing how different bridges did as they were tested.