Our engineering education continued today with a visit from Dr Kevin, who is a civil engineer! He has worked on engineering projects around the world and also lectured in NUIG. He taught us about bridges today, and left us with a few engineering challenges to complete after St. Patrick's Day!
First of all, he taught us a little bit of the meaning of the word 'engineer' and Latin words it comes from. Then he explained that while Civil Engineers work with all sorts of structures, he was going to talk to us about bridges. We learned that until the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s, most bridge were simple and fairly small. As humans developed better technology, bridges and engineering got better, safer and more impressive!
While we listened, we kept sketches of some of the different types of bridges. We looked at simple arch bridges and beam bridges, to very impressive Roman aqueducts that still exist today! We saw how maths, science, engineering and technology improved bridge building to include truss bridges, suspension bridges, cable stayed bridges and cantilever bridges.
We then used some simple experiments to see how beam bridges and cantilever bridges work.
After that, we watched some fascinating videos of how important it is to have good engineering for bridges. One was the Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington state, USA. This bridge collapsed in an ordinary wind speed because it had started vibrating and twisting unusually. The second video was more recent - the Millennium pedestrian bridge in London, England. This bridge had very wide and low suspension, and it started to vibrate as soon as crowds of people walked across it. It had to be closed and re-engineered with 'dampers' to reduce the vibration.
We got a surprise when one of the next slides had a picture of our teacher when she was our age at the top of a new suspension bridge! (She's obviously been planning this lesson for a while...)
At the end of the lesson, Dr Kevin gave us a little preview of the challenges he has left us: marshmallows! Sounds SWEET!
4th, 5th and 6th in the prefab!
|Headford Girls NS||
Ms McNamara's Class