Rerun by popular demand…
Learn to DESIGN FANTASTIC BRIDGES ON YOUR COMPUTER, & CREATE REAL MODEL BRIDGES TOO!
For kids who want to know more about designing and building, today's freebie is a real treat. This software program & ebook set is an exciting introduction to engineering and design. The ebook Designing and Building File-Folder Bridges: A Problem-Based Introduction to Engineering provides students with an opportunity to learn how engineers use math, science, and technology to design real structures–in the context of a hands-on model bridge-building project. It is intended primarily for high school students, but those in lower grades should be able to complete the model projects. Accompanying this book is The West Point Bridge Designer, a computer program which will introduce you to engineering through an authentic, hands-on design experience. This software provides you with the tools to model, test, and optimize a steel highway bridge, based on realistic specifications, constraints, and performance criteria. Our kids have played with this thing for hours and hours, and love to make all sorts of fantastically intricate bridges. Your kids will love it too!
Update note: The computer design program is now available both in Windows compatible AND Mac versions!
Click here to go to the West Point computer bridge design software page, then click on the "Download Software" tab. (Note: the current version is 2010. If you have an older computer, try version 2007, which is also on this page. It has simpler graphics but is more stable on older systems.)
Note #2: Be warned: Last time we featured this, we crashed their site with all our traffic. If you can't get through on this, please try again later… they do eventually reboot their site.