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Bay Bridge East Span Tour Inspires Dublin High School Engineering Academy Students

May 23, 2012

Dublin High Engineering Academy Students

Dublin High School Engineering Academy students capped an exciting year, that included meeting MythBusters stars Adam Savage and Kari Byron, winning at RoboGames 2012 and building a duct tape suspension bridge, with an exclusive boat tour of the new east span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. The new $6 billion bridge, scheduled to open in 2013, has been engineered to withstand a 1,500 year seismic event. Led by Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects Educational Outreach Program Manager Steve Padilla, Dublin High School Engineering Academy students learned about the science and engineering decisions behind the new bridge’s design, as well as the story behind a special iron troll crafted by construction workers to protect the existing bridge. The material used to create the troll was taken from a portion of the Bay Bridge that collapsed as a result of the 1989 earthquake (watch the video for a close-up view of the troll, created by construction workers after the 1989 earthquake).

“When engineers design structures to resist earthquakes, they use ‘rock motions’ to help them calculate the maximum seismic forces that the structure may experience; they then design the structure to resist these forces. Rock motions are the vibrations that travel through the bedrock caused by the slipping of an earthquake fault. Seismologists develop the rock motions based on the structures location in relation to earthquake faults and historical and geotechnical site data. The ‘new’ East Span has been designed to withstand rare seismic events. Specifically, the span has a 1,500-year return period. This is defined as the largest rock motions expected to occur at the bridge site once every 1,500 years.” –  Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects website

The Dublin High School Engineering Academy curriculum expands in 2012-13 to include a new course, Digital Electronics, as well as a 1:1 computing pilot for students entering the academy.

Tag along with the Dublin High School Engineering Academy as they tour the new span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in the photo / video essay below:

New Bay Bridge HD Video Tour

New Bay Bridge Photo Essay

  1. Teri Price permalink
    May 24, 2012 9:00 am

    What a great experience for our engineering students. I am so pleased with the academy and all the great successes they have had this year!


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