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Fields of Dreams

ballpark graphicBallparks have come a long way from the baseball diamond cut into an Iowa cornfield in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. Engineers have found new ways to design ever-more spacious stadiums, with better views, smart systems that reduce energy costs, and even apps that let you order food from craft beer to peanuts delivered to your seat.

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Brazil’s Olympic Designs

imaginary stadium with light beamsAs host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil has had to tap engineering expertise for everything from stadium construction to pollution control to security systems in order to receive an estimated 15,000 athletes and half a million foreign visitors. Despite the country’s economic woes, zika virus concerns, and construction delays, the games will go on… though probably not without some hitches.

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Sochi’s Big Olympics Dig

Sochi Olympic constructionIt takes host cities a lot of time, money, and engineering to prepare for the Olympics, and Sochi, the Russian seaside resort that will welcome athletes and fans from around the world this February, is no exception. Along with luge runs and ice arenas, the area’s 218 Olympic projects include a new high-speed rail and seaport.

A recent Businessweek article estimated the total at $51 billion, making Russia’s games the costliest in history

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Activity: Design a Super Dome

dome constructionIn this activity, student teams learn about construction and engineering design by building a domed structure with an internal frame that is strong enough to support 120 grams of coins or candy on top. They present their domes to the class and complete reflections on the lessons learned.

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