# AP Physics Experiment - Tower/Bridge/Boat - 3 in 1

• vom53
In summary, the conversation discusses the difficulties the person is having with building and coming up with ideas for their projects. They mention three separate experiments involving paper, tape, toothpicks, and wood. They have been criticized for their crafting and building skills and are looking for step-by-step explanations and pictures to help them. They also mention their research online and their ideas for the tower, bridge, and boat projects. The conversation then shifts to discussing the bridge project and the person's plan to build a truss bridge. They are unsure about the restrictions and ask for clarification. The conversation ends with a question about which type of toothpick is stronger and how to measure grams without a scale.
vom53

## Homework Statement

I am having trouble building and coming up with ideas for my projects.
3 separate experiments:
1. Paper/Tape Tower
2. Paper/Toothpick Bridge
3. Paper/Wood Boat

I have been criticized for my horrible crafting/building/drawing skills. If possible, please explain in steps and possibly provide some pictures. Thank you.

Note: Rubrics for each project are in the attachments.

## Homework Equations

Concepts do applied, but no equations are necessary.

## The Attempt at a Solution

My research online includes:
Code:
[PLAIN]http://www.learner.org/catalog/resources/activities/sact9806/sact9806-2.html"[/PLAIN]
[PLAIN]http://mrlewisclassroom.tripod.com/project1.htm"[/PLAIN]
[PLAIN]http://www.pisymphony.com/toothpick/toothpick1.htm"[/PLAIN]
[PLAIN]http://www.gravitykills.net/PhysicsOlympics/Bridge.htm"[/PLAIN]

For the Tower, I was thinking about a triangular base to support long strips going upwards.
For the Bridge, I was thinking of making a X pattern to support the weight.
For the Boat, I was thinking of using a shape similar to one of those Southern Vietnamese rafts.

#### Attachments

• 11 physics boats.doc
25.5 KB · Views: 290
• 11 physics bridges _ap version_.doc
25.5 KB · Views: 239
• 11 physics paper towers.doc
25.5 KB · Views: 216
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vom53 said:

## Homework Statement

I am having trouble building and coming up with ideas for my projects.
3 separate experiments:
1. Paper/Tape Tower
2. Paper/Toothpick Bridge
3. Paper/Wood Boat

I have been criticized for my horrible crafting/building/drawing skills. If possible, please explain in steps and possibly provide some pictures. Thank you.

Note: Rubrics for each project are in the attachments.

## Homework Equations

Concepts do applied, but no equations are necessary.

## The Attempt at a Solution

My research online includes:
Code:
[PLAIN]http://www.learner.org/catalog/resources/activities/sact9806/sact9806-2.html"[/PLAIN]
[PLAIN]http://mrlewisclassroom.tripod.com/project1.htm"[/PLAIN]
[PLAIN]http://www.pisymphony.com/toothpick/toothpick1.htm"[/PLAIN]
[PLAIN]http://www.gravitykills.net/PhysicsOlympics/Bridge.htm"[/PLAIN]

For the Tower, I was thinking about a triangular base to support long strips going upwards.
For the Bridge, I was thinking of making a X pattern to support the weight.
For the Boat, I was thinking of using a shape similar to one of those Southern Vietnamese rafts.

Welcome to the PF.

Let's take them one at a time. What makes a good tower? That's an exercise that I'm familiar with from a team building exercise that I help with a couple times a year.

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There was a log-in problem. I tried different computers and reseting the internet and finally was able to log in.

Mr. Berkeman, thank you for helping me with this experiment.
Let's start.

For the tower, the base is the most important.
I tried setting a triangular base as Prototype 1 and then a base like those you seen in those camera stands as Prototype 2.
Both prototype were unsuccessful, but the good base makes a good tower.

What is the next step, Mr. Berkeman?

vom53 said:
There was a log-in problem. I tried different computers and reseting the internet and finally was able to log in.

Mr. Berkeman, thank you for helping me with this experiment.
Let's start.

For the tower, the base is the most important.
I tried setting a triangular base as Prototype 1 and then a base like those you seen in those camera stands as Prototype 2.
Both prototype were unsuccessful, but the good base makes a good tower.

What is the next step, Mr. Berkeman?

How do you propose building the rest of the tower?

I tried two methods:

The first method was building tubes and connect it on top of each other onto the base.

The second method was established using the base and have three pillars and then another base and then three pillars and then finally one big pillar on top.

berkeman said:
How do you propose building the rest of the tower?

berkeman, I figured out how to do the tower and the boat.

However, I need your guidance on the bridge.
I plan to build a Truss bridge (the standard) one.

I review the restrictions and also ask my teacher, but still am unsure about the restrictions.

berkeman, may you please explain the restrictions of the bridge for me? (The rubric is in my first post)

Also which is stronger: US wood toothpick or bamboo toothpick (China)...

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berkeman said:
How do you propose building the rest of the tower?
How can I measure grams without a scale?

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## 1. How does the tower/bridge/boat experiment simulate real-world physics?

The tower/bridge/boat experiment is designed to mimic real-world structures and scenarios, allowing students to observe and analyze the principles of physics in action. For example, the tower represents a tall building or structure, the bridge represents a structure that must withstand forces from both sides, and the boat represents an object floating on water. By conducting this experiment, students can gain a better understanding of how these structures behave and interact with their environment.

## 2. What types of forces are involved in this experiment?

The tower/bridge/boat experiment involves various forces, including tension, compression, shear, and buoyancy. These forces act on the structures and objects in different ways, causing them to behave in specific ways. For example, the tower's weight exerts a downward force on the base, while the bridge's weight exerts downward forces on both ends. The boat experiences buoyant force from the water, which keeps it afloat.

## 3. How can this experiment be used to teach about equilibrium?

The tower/bridge/boat experiment is an excellent way to introduce the concept of equilibrium to students. By adjusting the height, width, and weight of the tower, bridge, and boat, students can observe how these changes affect the structures' equilibrium. For example, if the tower is too tall or narrow, it may become unstable and topple over. This experiment allows students to explore the delicate balance of forces required for an object to remain in equilibrium.

## 4. Can this experiment be modified for different grade levels?

Yes, this experiment can be modified for different grade levels by adjusting the complexity of the structures and the level of analysis required. For younger students, the focus can be on building the structures and observing their basic behaviors. For older students, the experiment can involve more advanced concepts such as vector analysis and moment of inertia. This versatility makes the tower/bridge/boat experiment suitable for a wide range of age groups and skill levels.

## 5. What are the benefits of conducting this experiment?

The tower/bridge/boat experiment offers several benefits for students. It allows them to apply theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios, encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By building and manipulating the structures, students can also develop their fine motor skills and spatial awareness. Furthermore, this experiment can spark an interest in physics and engineering, leading students to pursue these fields in the future.