Friday, 26 February 2016

Suspension Bridges--weekly Wrap up 2-26-16

We had a beautiful week, with the weather hitting the 70's:)  We loved it.  We went to see the Ice sculpture festival in a town about an hour away.  While the artist struggled with their ice sculptures we enjoyed a beautiful day out!

This was Firedrakes favorite

MarioFan's favorite

We enjoyed a nice lunch outside
This week for science MarioFan and I have been working on understanding how bridge suspension cables work and we of course did a few experiments:)

I took 20 gauge wire and made a few examples--hard to see but one is a single wire, one is a single wire that has been twisted, and the last one with a band of 6 single twisted wires all twisted together to form a thick cable

Using a can of soup (approx 1 lb) we tied the can to each wire  and predicted it the wire would support the can on its own.  The single strand of  wire is shown here and MarioFan could barely lift the can off the table 

Next we used the single twisted band and noted the results a little better not still not good

Finally the banded cable wires--while it did the best it still needed even more support so we got to building another thick wire cable 

we made a few more twisted wires from a single strand of 20 gauge wire

Using our drill twisted them together 

We added this banded cable to the other banded cable to make an even stronger cable which is what engineers to for suspension bridges. (excuse my face I was worried the wires would snap and hit me in the face)

added insulation around the 2 wires cables and hang the can and noted the results which was perfect.  No bend in our wires what so ever!

We compared our mini model to the pictures in the book and what we noted while watching a mini you tube video on this process.
We also watched the documentary on the Brooklyn bridge we found on you tube.  Watched a video on what happens if a suspension bridge fails ie. Galloping Gertie.  MarioFan also read the book

Next we got to work building our models of Suspension bridges!  First MarioFan made a K'nex bridge

Then we made a different suspension bridge using another kit I bought.
building the road way

setting up the string to make the cables 

we used a foam board to place our bridge on as we will be taking this to a project fair this spring

our completed suspension bridge

 Next we will be learning about Truss Bridges and we will be building several truss bridges including a candy bridge:)!


  1. Oooh I can't wait to see the candy bridge! I just wish I had had all these great ideas a few months ago when my oldest was studying bridges for our science fair. You all did so much more than I ever thought to do with him. These are just fantastic!

  2. I love Ice Scluptures. I am amazed at what they can do. I really loved your bridge learning adventures. I like the ones he built. You are so awesome as a homeschooler. I am sure your children are learning for more that they would in full time school. Hugs~