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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Mid-America Transportation Center

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Lesson Overview
Lesson Title:
Bridge Repair

Teachers:
Mr. Randy Stribley (Primary)

Brief Description:
Students need to repair a simulated beam bridge. They get random daily and office style supplies to increase the bridges strength as much as possible. Each supply is worth a certain economic value so they are going for economic efficiency of the repair.

Topics Introduced:
structual engineering

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Transportation Systems/ Infrastructure Planning, Management and Regulation
Health, Safety and Environmental Management
Suggested Grade Levels:
7th Grade
8th Grade
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade

Subjects:
Mathematics
Science
Industrial Technology
Engineering
Standards Taught:
12.3.1 Math 2006
12.6.1 Science 2003

Lesson Information
Learning Expectations:

• Follow and document the Engineering Design Process (EDP) in an Engineering Notebook (ENb)
• Calculate cost analysis
• Design a solution that is as economically efficient as possible

Plan Of Action:

Day 1: Activity introduction
Day 2: EDP steps 1-4
Computer research
Day 3: EDP step 5, lab day
Individually hand out the masking tape
Day 4: Testing day
Record your weight held
Day 5: EDP steps 6-8
• Turn in paperwork
• Cleanup bridge and hand in
• Throw away any used supplies

Data Set Used:

There is no data set.

Materials Needed:

Per student
• Bridge Simulator Block (see plans)
• 2-1/8x1/8 Balsa Testing Beams (balsa sticks)
• Repair supply set (which may include)
MAX QTY ITEM COST EACH IN DOLLARS ($)
5 Craft sticks 200
3 FT Balsa wood 1/8” 100 per foot
5 Rubber bands 10
5 Paper clips 50
3’ Masking tape 100 per foot
5 sheets 8-1/2x11 sheets of paper 25

Per class
• 1-testing apparatus or commercial tester
o 1-5gal bucket
o 50lbs-nails or alternative weights
o 1-chain or rope
o 1-testing block
o 2-testing supports

Preparation Period:

I recommend having the students make their own testing blocks. If you do this plan for at least two hours of construction time. All students should be safety tested first.

Implementation Period:

It will take about two minutes to test each bridge on a commercial tester. If using a home made testing rig it will take longer.

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

Science: physics of compression and tension
Math: cost analysis and efficiency
Engineering: bridge structure

Unexpected Results:

If you add glue to the list of possible supplies the bridges may be repaired so well that crushing them doesn't work.

Considerations for Diversity in Education:

I had a physically disabled student complete this. He was able to plan the repair but his aid did most of the construction.


Lesson Files
Bridge Repair Design Brief
Used to guide the activity.
[size: 32485] [date uploaded: Nov 16, 2009, 9:59 am ]

I-35 Bridge Collapse
Video shows what happens when a bridge isn\'t repaired correctly.
[size: 2884453] [date uploaded: Nov 16, 2009, 10:38 am ]

Pic- Student working
Picture of one students working.
[size: 56807] [date uploaded: Nov 16, 2009, 10:40 am ]

Engineering Design Process Worksheet
This is the worksheet students fill out as they do the project.
[size: 113644] [date uploaded: Nov 16, 2009, 10:41 am ]

Engineering Design Process Rubric
After the project is done use this to grade it.
[size: 120880] [date uploaded: Nov 16, 2009, 10:41 am ]

Engineering Design Process
Shows the steps in the Engineering Design Process. This is followed throughout the activity.
[size: 740951] [date uploaded: Nov 16, 2009, 10:43 am ]

TSE UNL Bridge Repair.pptx.zip
Zip folder containing the Power Point.
[size: 14370433] [date uploaded: Feb 26, 2010, 1:14 pm ]

Simulator Block
Image of Testing Block
[size: 102802] [date uploaded: Feb 26, 2010, 1:16 pm ]

Bridge Repair Photo Collection
Random pictures of the project process.
[size: 2477088] [date uploaded: Feb 26, 2010, 1:22 pm ]

Bridge Simulator
Bridge Block 3D SketchUp model in a zip file. You\'ll need Google SketchUp 7 or SketchUp viewer installed. Both are free. This will let you zoom and move to get a better understanding of the Simulator Block.
[size: 61490] [date uploaded: Feb 26, 2010, 1:46 pm ]

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