Structural Engineering

Eli Whitney Museum

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Engineers Week: Structural Engineering

Ages 9 – 12

Thumbnail of Structural Engineering project

Vacation Program

  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020
  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Designed for ages 9 to 12
  • By Andrew Sargent, Site Historian & Lead Educator

Engineers test the limits of materials. In 1820, Ithiel Town built the bridge that is copied outside the Museum. It's simplification of construction made it popular from Maine to Georgia.

Bridges are the perfect test of engineering. Every bridge must answer many questions. Can it be constructed? Will it carry normal loads? Will it handle extra large loads? Will it withstand winds, and floods, and snowstorms? Will it last for many years? Is it affordable?

Take a quick online tour of bridges around the world that answer these questions in unusual ways. Then build bridges. Construct a Town Bridge with paper members and toothpicks.. Construct a Roman Arch that will hold your weight. Master an interlocking bridge that Leonardo devised.
Join a team to construct a 3 foot spaghetti bridge to be tested with increasing weights.

Fee: $70

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