As a supporting member of BEAM – Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities, Lu’s Senior Structural Engineer, Kirk Wilson, PE, spent a morning teaching a Saturday Academy class to K-6 grade students.
The academy session started with a little talk about how civil engineering touches their lives and makes it possible to do all the things they do every day, form going to school in the morning to taking a bath before bed.
Then Mr. Wilson talked about strength – the resistance of a material to an applied force, and stiffness – the resistance of a material to movement under that applied force. From there, they moved on to an experiment that showed how this works by taking beams of three different lengths, loading them with a series of weights, and recording how much they moved under those different weights.
Saving the best for last, they finished up the session by BREAKING STUFF! Students took those same beams from the experiment session and loaded them up until they BROKE them to demonstrate how far they could go before they reached the limit of their strength.