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Grade 7 Science Students Investigate Structural Engineering to Construct Towers
  • Middle School
  • Science

Under the direction of Moreh Alex Randhava, Grade 7 science students have been using their knowledge of forces to construct towers of great height from very fragile materials. Throughout the design process, each group had to make careful decisions: How can we allocate materials where they are needed most? How do we divide the work to build efficiently? How can we reach 350 cm of height using beams that bow and bend when standing 1/10th of that span? Where must beams be placed under compression to bear the load? Where must they be under tension to provide support?

Students were responsible for every aspect of the project and adopted a modular system with different students responsible for different sections. Modular building requires effective communication between groups, mainly ensuring that the different sections provided the connection points necessary and could accommodate forces applied by upper sections.

The process is long and the work of arriving to a consensus over these choices is challenging. The final challenge has been scouting spots in the school that can accommodate towers exceeding four meters!