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Structural members being pulled apart are in tension, they fail by breaking in two. If the ends of the structural member are being pushed together the member is in compression. Members in compression fail by buckling.
Any structure must carry its own weight, this is called the Dead Load. The structure must also be designed to carry people, cars, furniture, equipment, etc. These are the Live Loads and they are much harder to predict. Weather (e.g. wind and snow) is also a live load.
Building Big Bridges Forces Lab
Visit Bridge Basics to get some design ideas
Here is a tool to use to design truss bridges Bridge Designer
For more help visit Garrett's Bridge Design
For information about the international Bridge Building Challenge visit www.iit.edu/~hsbridge
www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bridge/ is a Nova web site that summarizes a recent video program. Discusses types of bridges and gives illustrations
The West Point Bridge Designer is a software tool developed to help you learn about engineering, computer-aided design, and bridge structures. Its purposes are to stimulate interest in engineering... Visit bridgecontest.usma.edu/ to find out about a contest using this software.
Nalyd's Skyscraper Page
What is the tallest building in the world? Click Here: The High Rise Pages to find out.
For some models of real buildings to look at click on: Amazing 3-D Graphics
Click here: for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
To visit the Empire State Building use www.esbny.com.
The World Federation of Great Towers is at www.great-towers.com. And for great buildings in general visit www.greatbuildings.com/.
For Straw Tower Building Techniques: Thinking Fountain
Here are some Tensegrity structures www.grunch.net/snelson/, www.georgehart.com/pavilion.html, www.georgehart.com/virtual-polyhedra/straw-tensegrity.html
For structures of all kinds go to: www.exploratorium.edu/structures/index.html
Tired of just straws - click here for some (w)rappers. Or go to www.sodaplay.com to have more fun.