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Dublin High School Engineering Students Build Duct Tape Suspension Bridge

February 20, 2012

Dublin High Students Working on the Bridge

An enthusiastic team of Dublin High School Engineering Academy and Robotics Club students rallied over the long weekend, led by Dublin High teacher Eugene Chou, to build a suspension bridge using only duct tape. The voluntary project, part of Dublin High School’s National Engineers Week 2012 celebration, was made possible thanks to a generous donation of Duck Brand duct tape from the ShurTech Brands company. Dublin High students returning to class Tuesday morning are in for a surprise as they find the distinct silver of Duck Tape transformed into a suspension bridge spanning two towering trees in the center of campus.

Designing and building the duct tape suspension bridge brought Engineering Academy classroom theory to life as the Dublin High students had to agree on design criteria and constraints (such as making the bridge entirely out of duct tape, building a bridge capable of holding hundreds of pounds, and making the bridge safe – just a few feet off the ground), brainstorm on bridge design options, use a decision matrix to rank possible design attributes, and design a bridge that could be built over a long weekend. The bridge was strengthened by the double-braided design of the cables (a time-consuming option that paid off in the end).

Creating the bridge wasn’t just fun, but also reinforced the value of planning, making design choices, and dealing creatively with the inevitable real-world challenges faced during construction. The students were inspired in part by MythBusters duct tape episodes (MythBusters stars Adam Savage and Kari Byron are headlining the sold out Engineering Academy Open House event at Dublin High School on February 22).

See the bridge in action, and how the students built the bridge, in this short video:

The “Douglass-Kent Duct Tape Suspension Bridge” is named after the two trees it spans, and will remain in place during National Engineers Week (Feb. 19-25). Dublin High School’s award-winning Robotics Club was also busy over the long weekend, working on new designs that will be demonstrated during the Dublin High School Engineering Academy Open House Starring MythBusters on Wednesday, February 22 (doors open at 6:30pm for the sold out event).

And here is a time lapse move of the bridge being built:

Duck Brand’s annual Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest awards $5,000 scholarships to students wearing the most creative prom outfits made from Duck Tape.

Dublin High School Duct Tape Suspension Bridge for National Engineers Week 2012

Duct Tape Suspension Bridge Design

Dublin High School Students Build a Duct Tape Suspension Bridge

Duct Tape Suspension Bridge – Dublin High School Students Braiding Duct Tape

Dublin High School Students Build a Duct Tape Suspension Bridge

Duct Tape Suspension Bridge – Brainstorming on Design Options

Duct Tape Suspension Bridge – Braided Duct Tape

17 Comments
  1. February 21, 2012 7:36 am

    What an awesome display of creativity, collaboration and hard work! It was fun to see Mrs. Chou successfully cross the bridge on the first trial and to watch the excitement in the team of students. Thank you Eugene Chou and James Moorehead for providing such a great opportunity and experience for the engineering students at DHS!

  2. Teri Price permalink
    February 21, 2012 7:56 am

    Yea! So honored to be a part of such a great group of committed kids. I am so proud of them all! And of course we could not have accomplished any of it with out the dedication of Eugene Chou, Engineering Teacher and Robotics Advisor, who is an inspiration to us all!
    Thank you Eugene and James for all the time and energy you volunteered to make this bridge become a reality! You are both great examples to our youth, we value your time and talent and appreciate you more than we can express! Go Dublin!

  3. Marimuthu permalink
    February 21, 2012 12:28 pm

    Great job to the whole team and the way it got designed & build looks more like professional people working together to build something… Good team work and keep it up.

  4. Amanda P permalink
    February 21, 2012 1:38 pm

    Great job guys! Wow it was such a fun project to see happen, and be able to participate in! You guys sure are hard workers, keep it up!

  5. Lizz Child permalink
    February 22, 2012 8:16 am

    If you want to watch a time-lapse of the build here’s the link!! What a fun weekend 🙂

Comments are closed.