1. What does each of your building materials represent in actual bridge construction? (Fettuccine = steel girders; clay = rivets and welding; string = cable.)
2. Could you use too much clay? Explain. (Yes. If too much clay is used, then the weight of the clay becomes an issue.)
3. From what you have observed, is fettuccine stronger when it is laid flat or on its edge? (On its edge.)
Examine the satellite photograph of the Strait of Messina on page 41. Where in the world is it? Use online and print resources to uncover the location on a world map. Then, identify its position using latitude and longitude measurements.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge, also known as Galloping Girtie, collapsed in 1940. To learn more about this bridge check out the illustrated history site at http://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcoll/tnb/ You can download and view an MPEG video clip of the collapse at http://cee.carleton.ca/Exhibits/Tacoma_Narrows/
Building with Paper
For a different type of construction challenge, get three sheets of newspaper and a 6-inch length of tape. Use these materials to build the highest tower that can support the weight of a tennis ball. Have a class competition to see who has the best design.