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Super Bridge

Viewing Ideas


Before Watching

  1. Have students build a people bridge to experiment with the forces of compression (a pushing, squeezing force), tension (a pulling force) and torsion (a rotational, twisting force). Have pairs of students face each other with palms touching and feet flat and about 0.5 m (1.5 ft) apart (see example). Have students slowly move their feet back while keeping their palms touching until the bridge feels balanced and they cannot back up any further without falling over. Where on the bridge do students feel forces of compression and tension? Have one person move two steps to the left. What happens to the balance of the bridge? How does torsion affect the stability of the bridge? What forces might cause the support structure of a real bridge to rotate?

After Watching

  1. Ask students to recall what they remember most from the program. What is involved with building a bridge?

Teacher's Guide
Super Bridge
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