The Kid Should See This

Spaghetti bridges, a DIY engineering activity for kids (and adults)

What can spaghetti tell you about engineering? Mechanical engineer Shanice O’Mara introduces how engineering enables different kinds of bridges to successfully distribute weight of their load throughout their structures.

“They must be able to manage the forces of compression and tension, which means pushing and pulling so they don’t buckle or break. This can be achieved using a range of shapes and components which can be seen in bridges around the world.”

She then meets with three Dyson engineers, each with a spaghetti bridge that is put to the test with a few bags of sugar. The largest bridge is a spaghetti replica of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Build your own spaghetti bridge next. You’ll need spaghetti, tape, rubber bands, and a bag of sugar (or something similar) to put your structure to the test.

testing the spaghetti bridge
golden gate bridge spaghetti replica
This 2016 video is from the James Dyson Foundation, one in a series made to get kids excited about engineering. They have 44 classic engineering and science activities in this Challenge Cards pdf. Try them at home or for class.

Their list includes hands-on experiments that you can find corresponding video demonstrations for on TKSST, including:
Floating Ping Pong Balls
Liquid Densities
Non-Newtonian Fluid
Lenz’s Law
Fire Extinguisher
Scared Pepper
How to Make a Lava Lamp
Invisible Ink
Marble Runs

via Open Culture.

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