Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bridge Breaking

The bridge before testing.

One of the Boy Scout memories that ranks about as high as Pinewood Derby cars is the Popsicle bridge project. The boys began working on them last month. They began with a lesson on engineering from John's dad and then the rules were given out. There are very specific guidelines regarding the size of the finished structure, the glue that is used, and no more than 100 sticks may be used. It is to your advantage to try to use them all and make your bridge strong.

Tonight was the night that we put the weight on and see how they hold up, or not. Bill, with the help of fellow dads, secured the bridges and then placed a dowel rod on top, rope was tied to the end of the dowel and then a bucket was suspended to hold the weight. We started with 5 pound bags of sand and went up from there in 5 pound increments. One bridge broke at the 10 pound weight but many held up for more. John had the strongest breaking at 50 pounds, Ethan came in second at 40 pounds.

It's a great lesson on bridge construction and weight and load bearing. Plus it is really cool to watch the bridge collapse and explode everywhere. Lindy and Paige want the Brownies to do this. I am thinking maybe as Juniors!

Before the destruction.

Loading the weights.

First place went to John at 50 pounds.

Ethan and Bill cautiously kept adding and made it to 40 pounds.

Post break. Who knew that those little craft sticks were so strong?!

Good work boys and what a fun night!


Jennifer James said...

What a great idea! We might have to do this with our jr's!

Gretchen said...

Way to go boys, what a fun project!

Anonymous said...

I am so impressed by the Bridge project! There just could be an ARCHITECT in the family after all!

I don't know how to get my name on here other than to just sign it,

UNCLE BOBBY (um, I guess that should be "Great Uncle Bobby" to the kids?)