Human Bridges-Bridge Project

By Jenna Richter | May 25, 2016 | Engineering, Project Work

What does it feel like to be a bridge?  What type of forces are at play? What else is required?  How can you know unless you feel it?  Discovery Lab students are offered opportunities to learn through every possible modality:  visual, auditory and kinesthetic.  We need to see it, hear it and feel it to integrate the concepts fully.

Using our math skills, we first recorded the weights of all of the students and guessed which students would have to be on each side to make the weight as close to equal as possible.  Next, we worked in groups trying to get a balance load on each end of our suspension bridge/tug of war rope.  Instead of trying to pull the other side over, we needed to give and take bringing the bridge into balance.

 

Louie, Boden and Harlow across from Emmett and Finn holding tight.
Louie, Boden and Harlow across from Emmett and Finn holding tight.

 

To further this concept, we looked at four different weight sharing exercises stemming from modern dance.  Each person is responsible for holding their own weight and coordinating how to keep their partner up while leaning away from them.

 

Students working to share their combined weight equally.
Students working to share their combined weight equally.

 

Next we looked at a bridge that could stretch across the span and stay rigid in order not to sag and fall between the two sides.

 

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Finally, Emmett and I formed a beam bridge and students had a chance to balance like a truss across us.