West Point Bridge Design
90 Minutes | 6th – 12th Grades
The West Point Bridge Design software is a free-to-use simulation for basic bridge design. Students will be introduced to the basic theory of structural design (forces, materials, properties, etc.) and learn the various types of bridges that are used in the world. A video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse will be viewed and the engineering failures of this design will be discussed. Students will then be able to create the designs described in the introduction and then make their own bridges to compete for the cheapest, working bridge.
The objectives of this lesson are to introduce students to civil engineering and bridge design, construct a prototype that can be tested in the program, use the appropriate vocabulary in describing the construction of their bridge, and utilize technology to demonstrate prototyping and engineering practices.
Unfortunately, the bridge design competition which went along with this software is no longer happening, but the program is still available to use.
Lesson Plan – WPBD