This July, the Future Civil Engineers Summer Institute welcomed middle school students to the Kingsville campus to learn about engineering, math, and science. We had a lot of fun, as always. The week was full of several activities that encouraged kids to get some hands-on experience with design. I’ll be sharing some videos of the results.
This short video is a fun place to start. It shows a rather spectacular failure of a balsa wood bridge. The students constructed bridges from balsa wood and school glue, and, at the end of the week, the bridges were tested to failure. The counting you hear is the students (and faculty) counting how many cycles of load the bridge resists. Each cycle represents around 33 lbs of load.
While this failure looks awful, the bridge itself was a success. It held several hundred times its own weight in load. I just turned the camera on for the last, impressive collapse.
More to come!