Build a small arch bridge which will support your weight.
Bridge over troubled waters
Make bridge from blocks to cross a river.
Investigate the bubble shapes produced by different wire frames.
Shows that the best shape to build a thin arch is the same as a hanging chain - or that the shape of the chain must lie within the
A rotating frame containing ball bearings makes patterns similar to those seen in crystal structures, as the balls pack together.
An arch made of wooden blocks. If you load the arch - it fails - but always with at least four cracks - why?
The flatter the arch the greater the sideways force.
Demonstrates why churches and cathedrals need buttresses for support.
Galloping Gertie (Tacoma Narrows)
A video showing the collapse of the famous Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge.
You can experiment by stacking ball bearings on different bases (square, circle, etc). Which ones produce regular crystal-like
Walk over the suspension bridge, notice the changes in shape. Feel where the forces are acting.
Polarised light reveals stress in a special plastic arch.
An arch bridge, built out of curved-sided blocks, moves to show forces in the bridge.