Engineering – Designing Bridges

This week the students participated in two Science AL!VE workshops. One workshop was titled Engineering Olympics and students used popsicle sticks, straws and masking tape to build their own bridges. The bridges were loaded up with weights until they collapsed and the students became so excited watching how much weight their bridge could hold.

I was also teaching the class about the Tacoma Narrows bridge which opened on July 1, 1940. During its construction, workers noticed the bridge deck began to move vertically during windy conditions, so they nicknamed it ‘Galloping Gertie’. On November 7, 1940 it was a windy day and this caused the bridge to sway violently and the concrete started to crack. Eventually the bridge collapsed due to aereoelastic flutter. There was no loss of human life. A single car was on the bridge and it belonged to Leonard Coatsworth. Inside of his car was his cocker spaniel ‘Tubby’. Professor Farquharson, who was involved in the design of the bridge, tried to rescue ‘Tubby’, but the dog  was so terrified that it bit the professor. In university engineering and physics classes the Tacoma Narrows bridge and its design is studied by students.

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Beautiful British Columbia

We are fortunate to live in a province with so much natural beauty. Sometimes when I’m out hiking and exploring, I’ll take some video with my drone. A drone is an amazing piece of technology, but it must be used responsibly. Can you see the fishing black bear in the video? What’s your favourite part of the video? Do you like the music? In the lower right hand corner is a button you can click to see the video full screen.

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Sphero SPRK+

In class the students have been learning about coding. We use the Sphero SPRK+ robot to foster creativity through discovery and play, all while laying the foundation for computer science. Students learned to program their Sphero SPRK+ to successfully navigate a maze we created using masking tape and the carpet in our classroom. How did you like using the Sphero SPRK+ in class? Did you find it challenging to create the code for your Sphero SPRK+? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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Cassini Probe Orbiting Saturn

Some people say that Saturn is the most beautiful planet in our solar system. The Cassini probe has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. On November 30, 2016 it started a series of orbits that will bring it closer to Saturn’s rings than ever before. Scientists hope to learn more about the rings and some of Saturn’s moons. Please feel free to leave a comment after watching the video.

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Coming Soon Smellavision TV’s

The students in our class show a genuine interest in learning about new forms of technology, so I thought I would share some information about a new kind of tv that will soon be available.  The new tv will be similiar to existing tv’s that have images and audio, but it will also provide smells. In the new tv’s there is a place where odors will be released. For example, if you’re watching a cooking show you might smell frying bacon or onions. Just imagine, your favourite tv show might have a scene at the beach and you’ll get a wonderful ocean smell in your living room. Of course, advertising will also have smells so if you’re watching a commercial about fabric softener you will experience that fresh smell of clothes just out of the dryer. These new tv’s will work with your existing cable connection and many of the manufacturers will be releasing them this Fall, just in time for Christmas. Do you think your family will be interested in purchasing one of these new tv’s with smellavision technology?

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