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Civil Engineering Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
A bridge collapse, like that of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge, can be a major disaster. Bridges that cannot hold enough weight to do their intended job can be a serious public safety issue. And if they collapse, they can also cause economic damage due to costly rebuilding and people and companies scrambling to figure out how to circumvent the months of traffic impacts. Figure 1. On August 1, 2007 the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapsed killing 13 people and injuring 140… Read more
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit for this project is available from .
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
This is an interesting project that explores which geometrical shapes make the strongest bridge truss structures. It is a good introduction to the engineering design process. You'll design three different trusses, and use online simulation software to analyze the distribution of load-bearing forces in each design. Then you'll build and test prototypes of each design. Read more
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Excellent computer skills, high school physics course
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution with sharp tools when cutting wooden parts to size. Adult supervision recommended for bridge-testing phase.
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