This week we began our Fall classes, kicking off with Monday’s Experiments in Engineering. This first class brought thirteen teen girls together to explore questions of weight and balance using hand-made jenga pieces! It was fun to ask questions about why certain jenga pieces were easier to remove than others, and why the tower finally fell. Watching a slow motion video of the fall, we were able to make connections to themes like the center of mass, load paths, and rotational equilibrium. Not only was the game highly suspenseful, it also set us on our way to understanding some essential engineering concepts!
We were additionally thrilled to be joined by Jenni Sudario, Bridge Engineer for ARUP in San Francisco. Jenni’s experience designing bridges and other large civil structures lent wonderful perspective and instruction to the workshop. Jenni will join us again next week to explore compression and tension in bridge design.
Our students blew us away with their observations and poignant questions this week. We can’t wait see see what insights this class will continue to bring!