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Contest: West Point Bridge Design

The West Point Bridge Design Contest aims to provide middle school and high school students with a realistic, engaging introduction to engineering. The contest is provided as a service to education–and as a tribute to the Academy’s two hundred years of service to the United States of America. Contest registration opens January 28, 2010, with first qualifying round closing March 5, 2010.

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Lesson: Bridge Building. Tension and Compression

LightningVolt_Mackinac_BridgeIn this lesson for grades 6-12, students experience the forces of tension and compression by manipulating objects that are strong in each but not in both. Students then take what they have learned and apply it to the construction of a simple model of a beam bridge and the more complex suspension bridge and inverted triangle support structure. During the lesson, students watch video segments that illustrate the design and construction process in the real world.

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Activity: Build a Human Suspension Bridge

In this activity for grades 4 through 6, students become acquainted with the engineering principles and forces that help support bridges. Then 16 students form a human suspension bridge.

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