Tinkering School

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Train Bridge - Week 7 - Boys & Girls Club - Mission Clubhouse

B&GClub - M (Winter 2018)Brendon BellComment

Come in bridge road construction crew...(crackle, static)

...its time to build and raise our roadway! Over. (more static)....

Another week, and the B&GC Mission Clubhouse tinkerers once again brought their A-game! Our crew got started right away testing designs for our roadway. We started out with single sheets of 3/4in plywood. Would it be strong enough?

 Elina veery carefully tests the plywood sheets' deflection strength. Can you see its slight bend?

Elina veery carefully tests the plywood sheets' deflection strength. Can you see its slight bend?

But what if we have two kids or two train cars riding over the roadway at the same time!?

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Aghhhh! We definitely heard a couple cracks before Alberto and Marco made their way across the roadway. I doubt we would have many paying customers riding over our bridge with a bend like that, but luckily Ailey suggested we build some supports under the plywood to stiffen it up. Let the measuring, cutting, and drilling commence!

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With three teams, we were able to quickly construct multiple road segments. One for the bridge and two to slope down from the bridge ends down the ground.

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 One of the nice things about building with wood, is that it bends (to an extent). Ailey "nudges" a cross support into place with a mallet.

One of the nice things about building with wood, is that it bends (to an extent). Ailey "nudges" a cross support into place with a mallet.

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With the roadways completed, we shifted to attaching the cross supports on the towers that the road will sit on.

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 Is it level? The kids learned how to use a bubble level to make sure the road would sit evenly in place.

Is it level? The kids learned how to use a bubble level to make sure the road would sit evenly in place.

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And finally it was time to hoist the roadway between the towers!

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We didn't quite have time to screw in the road to the towers this week, so instead we used clamps to secure it for testing.

As with all semi dangerous builds, we have Tinkering School collaborators test the structural integrity of a project first before any young tinkerers test our their handiwork. 

 I ended up picking the lucky straw to take the first steps into the unknown...

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 It didn't bend! And thankfully no one heard any creaking or cracking either. It was super sturdy. Nice work crew!

It didn't bend! And thankfully no one heard any creaking or cracking either. It was super sturdy. Nice work crew!

With the all clear signal, the kids each carefully walked across their bridge for the first time!

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 Priceless :-)

Priceless :-)

So we know that these tinkerers can build a strong pedestrian bridge. But will they be able to rise to the challenge and make it train worthy??? Check out the blog next week to find out!

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