Bridging Land, Sea and Space: Engineering Structures - Junior SPARK
This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.
The main objective of this course is to discuss and understand, from an engineering stand point, the various structures seen in our everyday lives, such as buildings and bridges. Other types of structures that perhaps we do not come in contact with everyday, but do play an important role in our lives such as ships, aircrafts, and satellites; will also be studied.
This course introduces students to the basic theory behind the engineering of various structures, by explaining the similarities and differences in the design of structures located on land, sea, and in space. Lectures for the course will provide introduction to core engineering themes and problem solving techniques used to design and build these engineering structures.
During the course, students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the design and analyses of engineering structures by taking part in:
- A bridge building competition, in which the students will be broken up into design teams and will construct a bridge that must meet certain design criteria. For this competition, the students will learn some of the basic physics involved with analyzing the various loads a bridge must withstand. They will also be introduced and get hands on experience using computer modeling software involved with bridge design.
- Constructing a collapsible structure. For this project, the students will learn about collapsible structures, and how important they are in various applications especially those involving space.
Also included in the course is a load testing presentation along with a discussion of different materials and their strengths and weaknesses.
At the end of the course, each student design team will orally and visually present their bridge to a captive audience, and explain how they arrived at their final design.
At the end of the course, students will have a basic understanding of how to build and design engineering structures. They will also have a better understanding on how to apply the basic science and math they have learned in school to hands-on engineering projects modeling structures they see in the world around them.
*This Junior SPARK course is designed for students, 12 years and older, who are currently in the 6th and 7th grades (entering 7th and 8th grades Fall 2013). Older students are encouraged to register for our Senior SPARK courses.