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Oakwood School

Conceptual Physics Students Compete in Bridge Building Challenge

Conceptual Physics Students Compete in Bridge Building Challenge
Conceptual Physics Students Compete in Bridge Building Challenge

Over the past month, Oakwood High School students in Ms. Huntley’s Conceptual Physics classes have been meticulously designing and building bridges using only fragile balsa sticks and craft glue. By applying their knowledge of tension and compression forces, the students were able to engineer very strong bridges from very weak materials. Last week, the groups put their bridges to the test. Weight was added to a bucket suspended by a wire from each bridge until the bridge failed — or the wire did! The strongest bridges were found to be able to support more than 16 pounds. By contrast, a balsa stick on its own can support only about half a pound. Congratulations to Oakwood’s physicists for their hard work and beautiful bridges!