Beam Design

Sophomores in Structural Design spent time researching truss designs and joints. Between the two sections, students built and tested 8 different trusses with 4 different types of joints using popsicle sticks. Then each student was allowed to design and build a final beam to their liking to compete for best strength:weight ratio. They were able to use data collected and analyzed from the preliminary tests to inform decisions made in their final design selection. Prior to buildling, students used Google Sketch Up to represent what they intended to build (see picture). There was a competitive atmosphere in the classroom on testing day. Many performed admirably due to careful planning and good craftsmanship. Ultimately, 3 designs maxed out the Stress Analyzer machine at 500 lbs, 2 of which remained unscathed. Those 2 beams will live in a place of honor atop the Stress Analyzer for all to see.