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The Basic Mathematics of Bridges, by Lewis Spence

Guide Entry to 01.05.06:

This unit intends to provide students of the seventh and eighth grade levels a basic insight into the basic features and structure of bridges. It provides pertinent information regarding four basic forms of bridge types of which some are common in our everyday communities. There are activities that are designed to identify the mathematics associated with the designs and constructions. These activities include measuring of angles, the application of proportionality, practice in linear measurements and a model construct of a bridge.

Due attention is given to the science of stress, the major factor which allows a bridge to function. Hopefully, these activities will awake a consciousness in the students to these massive structures regarding their functions, the efforts employed in the construction, aesthetic effects on the surroundings and intents of those associated with the projects. Two questions that this unit should provoke the students to ask are, what happens to the communities when there is that bridge? And, what happens to the communities when that bridge is absent?

(Recommended for Mathematics, grades 7-8.)

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