Building Partnerships with LU Engineering

The future engineers in Grades One, Two and Three at Five Mile Public School welcomed some very special guests on Wednesday, February 24. Lakehead University Engineering students, accompanied by Five Mile Public School students, visited the budding engineers to talk about structures and to discuss what the Five Mile students think caused a recent local engineering problem.

“As part of their learning on structures and mechanisms, the have been discovering materials that are most effective on structures, and which allow for the stability of structures,” says Angelina Tassone-Vogrig, Principal of Five Mile Public School. “The students have also been doing an inquiry into the Nipigon Bridge and have several theories about what caused the bridge to fail.”

The Lakehead University engineering students used both visual and physical props and models to assist them in covering the following topics:

  • compression and tension forces
  • how vertical and horizontal structures affect frames and structures
  • how different shapes and supports will cause a frame or structure to react under an applied load
  • the effect of cold weather on the strength of steel members & hardware, such as bolts
  • the behavior of frames under loads, such as earthquakes or wind
  • examples of structural failures in bridges outside of Canada will be showcased

Five Mile Public School students were given opportunities to ask questions and interact with the presenters, especially with respect to their upcoming assignment on designing a model frame to resist shaking forces in the pretend village of “Tiny Town.” Grade 7 students also showcased their recently completed bridge structures.