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SPARK - Science for Middle School

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The Art of Statics: From Physics to Safe Engineering Structures at Rest - Junior SPARK

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

Every day, we come across many familiar structures, such as skyscrapers, bridges and towers, which are fundamentally at “rest” " i.e. stable and unmovable. These structures are designed to be in a state of equilibrium. But how is this vital state achieved? What prevents the Brooklyn Bridge from shaking? What keeps the Seattle Space Needle upright?

In this course, we will study the “statics” of objects. We will conduct experiments and observations of conditions at which the rest state of objects " equilibrium - is achieved, and how this applies to everyday objects in our lives. Students will also explore a variety of applied problems by studying important engineering structures, such as beams, trusses and frames.

As a final project, students will participate in a friendly competition by working together in teams to design their own macaroni bridge. By the end of the course, students will be able to explain the statics of structures and apply their knowledge to design simple yet interesting engineering structures.

*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 2014). Older students are encouraged to register for our Senior SPARK courses.