Engineering Module


·        Understand how different shapes have different load carrying properties.

·        Familiarize yourself with engineering terminology as it pertains to bridges.

·        Design and test a prototype bridge using computer software.

·        Apply the concept of scaling to your bridge blueprint.

·        Create a bridge blue print.

·        Build a working model of your bridge out of balsa wood.


1.     Complete the pre-test questionnaire found here (skip for now)


2.     Watch the “understanding Bridges” video. Throughout the video you will be required to answer some questions. It is recommended that you have the video playing and questions open at the same time. You will be working in groups and everyone will receive the same score. If a group member is absent during that day they will have to complete the work by themselves.


Link for the questions

Link for the video (video no longer exisits on youtube, ask Korb for DVD)


3.     Using the West Point Bridge Design software, create 3 separate original bridge designs. Each member in the group has to create their own 3.  After you complete the bridge run the load test to see if it will hold the load. If it successfully holds the load take a snip picture of the bridge and pass status. Save the picture in your profile. I will check them off later. Call the pictures bridge A, bridge B, and bridge C. Watch the instructional video for all the details about how to use the software.


4.     After simulating some bridge testing your group needs to decide on a bridge design that you want to go with. First you are going to make a blue print of your bridge. These plans will be used to construct the real bridge. You are going to use scaling so that your drawing is not full size and can fit on a piece of graph paper. I recommend using ½ or 2:1 scale. If too many materials are going to be used I reserve the right to make you change your design. When drawing your blueprint make sure to include all necessary dimensions and measurements. Here is a sample of a complete blueprint.


      Specifications your bridge must meet:


·        Must be 18 inches in length

·        Can be less, but no wider than 5”


Turn your blue print in to get reviewed before you start building.


5.     Hold on to your blueprint so it can be graded at the end of the module. Ask the instructor for supplies and tools. Clean up your own mess. Store your unfinished bridge on top of the cabinets.


6.     Once your bridge is finished give it to the instructor to grade and then store.  All the bridges will be tested at the end of the semester to see how much weight they can hold, and their efficiency.


7.     Write your reflection paper.

8.     This concludes the Engineering module.