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We ask a lot out of our bridges. We build them across vast spaces, stack them into double decker’s and place bumper-to-bumper traffic on them. We expect that our bridges will support a great deal of weight and that they will last for a long time. Bridge designs have improved a lot in the past centuries and our understanding of the physical principles of design, along with the invention of new materials has made it possible for people to design and build bridges that our ancestors could never have dreamed of. Though bridges are safe, there are occasional accidents and errors in design that cause deaths. Engineers need to understand exactly what a bridge can do as well as what it cannot if they are to design a bridge that will serve the needs of the community while keeping the community members safe from harm.
The purpose of this experiment is to build models of various types of bridges and then place weights on them until they break to determine which bridge design is the strongest.
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