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Quad City Herald
Brewster, Washington
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March 19, 1998     Quad City Herald
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March 19, 1998
 

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Wrn. E. Vallance photos Before these Brewster sixth graders can test the structure of their bridges they must first weigh them, O" O O i : ;ixt00 L grade engineers uild sl)aghetti bridges The proper application of engineering principles would seem to be a subject of interest only to--well, engineers. Afterall, it takes an elaborate (and expensive) college education to be able to take the sophisticated principles of math and science involved in engineering and translate them intoasuccessful structure such asa suspension bridge. Truss structure and load tolerances are not ideas and concepts for kids. Well, actually, maybe they are. Applied arts teacher Brian Mercy issued a challenge to the sixth graders at Brewster Elementary School. They had to build a suspension bridge, one that would not only stay together under its own weight but hold as much sand as it could stand. Mercy 'also supplied the building material. Spaghetti. Not wood or metal, but strands of pasta. (Uncooked. of course.) "Spaghetti is a rather strange building material," Mercy said. It has severe lira italions. being both brittle and fragile. But it has one advantage---it captures the imagination of the sixth grade engineers. The sixth graders split into groups of two; their bridges had to he less than 18 inches lo, gand amminim um of 50 millimeters wide.Actually, their choices were not limited to spaghetti. Children made bridges out of whole wheat noodles, square noodles, selmolina; "we did a lot of experimenting," Mercy said. Mercy and the students talked about truss designs and load levels, stress and slrain and tension (on the bridge, not the builder) and how a well-designed bridge could meet stress and varied loads without breaking. Then they took up the challenge; they were required to "design and build a spaghetti bridge." Friday, March 13 was test day for the students in Marilyn Oibbons's class. The suspense was palpable as one by one, the bridges were brought to the front of the class and placed between two desks. Mercy placed a wooden block with a hook (called the loading platform) in the center of bridge and suspended a bucket from the hook. Then he started dumping in sand, one handful at a time. Handful by handful the sand was dumped into the bucket. The bridges creaked and groaned and fmally cracked under the strain in a sbowerofbasted pasta. "Oooh." said the kids, watching as the first bridge buckled. "Ladies, will you clean up your bridge, please?" Mercy asked its builders. "What bridge?" sighed one girl, as she fished spaghetti shreds out of the bucket. The strongest bridge in Gibbons's class was built by Wade Flynn and Juan Martinez, with an + efficiency tingof 4.6. The idea of this week-long lesson and other lessons in other classes is to show kids the relationship between the sometimes boring theories they learn and the real world outside the classroom. The kids use math and science to turn a fragile wheat product into a (relatively) sturdy bridge; fifth graders made rubber band- powered cars to learn more about therelationship belween motion and inertia. Mercy said such exercises help enforce the lessons the children learn about the basic scientific and mathmatic principles. "Spaghetti is a rather strange building material," . Brian Mercy im :==::CLIPAND SAVE= u "'II II PRESENT COUPON UPON ARRIVAL AT THE PULLTABS COUNTER I NO EXCEPTIONS I NOT VALID WITH ANY ' I OTHER COUPON OR m I PROMOTION I l MUSTBE 18 YEARS oF AGE OR OLDER II n . u , j Mill Bay Casino I (  1-800'648-2946! II _ Okanogan. . f_-.:''N'_. I Bingo Casino ("[ILJ I 1-800-559-4643 M[.']V i  -,= . I ) Cou!ee Dam Casino I 1-800.556-7492 I u I Cotvi//eTr/balProperty 1 I QCH Expiration Date 3.31-g8 ::: CLIP AND SAVE ===: Im | -BIB U BIB BrlanMorey, applied arts teacher pours sand into s bucketattached to the bridge to test the strength of the student's i construction. This bridge was at its breaking point. SCHOOL MENU Brewster Men., March 23 - Breakfast: Cold cereal, donnut, fruit, milk. Lunch: Haystacks, fruit, milk. Tues., March 24 - Breakfast: Fruit muffin, ham sticks, fruit, milk. Lunch: Chicken patty, mashed potato, fruit, milk. I : E i i '' 00'unr00 y Th?tidiig, Milieh 19 I:ddllg, Milreh 20 _qiiturdtlg, Milreh 21 i Birl day+ : 12.00o t1O Fee+Sare Mat,no OneOELI : t00ee " iFrida00;t "' $10 6-ons $150 Payout lO00..iVlu,f+go[ P t,;Ot6n ld $10 Additional Packs SANDWICH: and 9,nd, u, loi, 9:OO ldlltoh Regular Session Payouts ,300 ,orldllg, ,300. 750 Pay-Outs : 22 March 22 Tuedag, March 24 ; A.Roll REGULAR SESSION 2 PAO.K O  Paek 20 $300Pay-outs =OO Peg-out: OO Peg-Outs! Triple Play ,Members : of Nickels ReCeive a ,S Discount TP,pla Pnau Dau! Lawn & : MUST SHOW PHOTO I.D. Set-Game Gas BBQ Grill Garden Set $I 13-On's $1 / 3.On's $1 / 3.On's Pin I:li, givo-Awau P g g ., ,,, ! ,t,+ ,=' Mereh 2 2rid - 'th ./' d MARCH2D - : MARCH23RD .... MAICH 247H '-] B QG irll LI awn&GardenSeti "-n_' s .... $1-3iOn's e House Boat "lrip I $i - 3-On's -- BINGO HOURS: Men., Tues., Fd. and Sat. Evenings: Warmups at 6:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun. Matinees: Warmups at 2 p.m. OkanoKan I00inKo. t2a00ino 1-800-559-4643 41 Apple Way Rd. Okanogan, WA. A Colville Tribal Property QCH Wed.. March 25 - Breakfast: scrambled egg and ham, cinnamon roll, fruit, milk. Lunch: Turkey frank on a bun, veggie, fruit, milk. Thurs., March 26- Breakfast: French toast, sausage, fruit, milk. Lunch: (Junior High and High School) Potato bake, hot roll, fruit, milk. (Elementary) Taco, salad, fruit, milk. Fri.. March 27 - Breakfast: Cold cereal, cinnamon toast, fruit, milk. Lunch: Hamburger patty w/bun, tater tri or rounds, fruit, milk. . ffoin Us For So.e. . Great Blue Mustc ! ]t lf   " ]l'l * * IVIIDNIGHToI00LUES Saturday, March 21,9 p.m. to 1.30 a.m. I Members & bonafide guests only I " * "f Quad City Eagles BRIDGEPORT Golden Wheat Caf00 "A Beautiful Little Island in a Sea of Wheat" Poker, Darts, Beer, Wine & Spirits Ill" 9 ,t 0 l Dan Is Outfit" Lounge Group Parties & Meetinls Welcome Reservations Pleasel I Just An 01' Cowboy Outfit! Dan'l Lunsford. proprietor (509) 683-1248 33 Main Street, Mansfield, WA, 98830