Can We Break It?

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We love games like this one: How much weight will this bridge hold? It's simple, fun to watch, and most importantly something is guaranteed to eventually break. Win win right? So we were excited to head over to The Ocean Discovery Institute to see what this non profit and their middle school age kids had brewing with bridge building and Rokenbok construction sets

The Ocean Discovery Institute started by presenting the kids with information they'd find useful as expert architects. How does dissipation and tension factor into a design? How can you alleviate pressure? The kids soon began eyeing the Rokenbok pieces in front of them and a few picked up some S beams. You could see the wheels turning. 

The competition was simple. Your group had to build the strongest bridge it could in two hours using only the pieces in an architects dream. Ready? GO. 

In a flurry of excitement, sketching, and brainstorming the groups were off. 

At the end of two hours it came time to test. The first group showed theirs off. We placed 15 pounds and it didn't bend a hair. Another ten, fifteen, twenty....a little creaking. At 57 pounds the bridge broke at a joint piece and toppled to the ground. 

The next few groups went with a similar result. The last two bridges however were quite different. They wouldn't break.

After piling 100 pounds onto a single center point the bridges were still holding strong. The instructors announced that they had ran out of weights and had never expected anyone to create a bridge that strong. Needless to say we were thrilled but not horribly surprised. Rokenbok is strong stuff!!!

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