Samoset Technology Students Test Towers

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Recent tests of student-constructed towers exemplified compression, tension and torsion as part of a lesson on load forces in Kim Latkovich’s Introduction to Technology classes at Samoset Middle School.

Before the activity students researched bridges and the complex truss systems that add to their overall structural integrity. Arch, cable-stayed, cantilever and truss bridges were among the types researched. Student teams carefully constructed towers utilizing Balsa wood, glue and cardboard gussets for added strength, with the goal of supporting the greatest vertical load possible. 

Following construction, each group’s tower was tested by gradually pouring sand into a hanging bucket until the structure failed. The load was then weighed and recorded to compare with the designs of their peers.