Description of testing beams/columns

  • Students were asked first to make beams of various shapes using one index card per beam and some masking tape.
  • They made load testers using rubber bands, paper clips, and washers and used these to test the live load capacity of each beam.
  • They collected data throughout their testing.
  • This graph shows the results of all 3 classes when they tried different kinds of beams. The vertical axis shows the number of washers (weighed 12 grams each) the beam held.

  • Next, they were shown how to make columns shaped like a cylinder, a triangle, a rectangle, and a square.

  • They used books to test the live load capacity of each type of column and collected data.

  • After all testing was completed, students used Microsoft Works to create bar graphs showing the testing results for columns and beams. The vertical axis tells the number of book (dictionaries) the column held. Students used these results to plan for their next challenge, making strong structures.