Bridge 2014 Group 1

This is Group 1's web journal!

In this week, we learned about three of the different types of engineering: civil, mechanical, and industrial. At first, we learned about the typical days, salaries, and challenges each type of engineer would go through. Cornerstone careers has a lot of resources and links we could follow. We put them down here.

American Society of Civil Engineers,

Institute of Industrial Engineers,

Mechanical Engineering (Career Cornerstone),

Industrial Engineering (Career Cornerstone),

Civil Engineering (Career Cornerstone),

Throughout the week, we learned about the skills we needed to build our bridge and help student architects out with their chair designs, and applied them to our projects. The timeline below shows our development throughout the week.

Here is our web journal!!


Today, we learned about civil and mechanical engineering in the lectures from Professor Gray, got an introduction to our second project, which we will work on during the weekend, and visited the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. In addition, we reviewed introductory concepts to trigonometry and applied them to various problems in our red binder.


The next day, we started to plan the bridge. At first, our team split up into three pairs as we used our imagination and design constraints to test out different concepts in the program, Westpoint Bridge Design. Then, Professor Gray gave us an introduction to engineering design, and great tips that would help us transition from conceptual designs to tangible creations. 

We divided to divide up our 6-person group into two main groups: the car people and the bridge people. Two people, Joshua, and Abey, decided to work on the car and three people, Mike, Anthony, and Carl, decided to work on the bridge design; Anne decided to work on the online engineers notebook and check in with everybody to see how everything is going. The bridge people experimented with designs on the Westpoint Bridge Design Program, while the car people worked on making a small prototype of the car with motors, toilet paper rolls, masking tape, and wooden sticks.

In the second half of the class, we walked over to the architecture studio to meet the architecture students and see what ideas they had for our bridges. We got a PowerPoint presentation from the professor of architecture about the way architecture and engineering students should work together; he also explained the different types of bridges in our world today.

Professor Gray also gave a presentation afterwards, which was about the design constraints of the bridge and the challenges it will have to face. After the presentations were done, we soon walked up to the 2nd floor of the building and met the architecture students to discuss potential designs. 

(insert pictures of designs and students listening to teachers here)

We came up with a few good ideas, and decided to talk them over for the next day, 7/16/14


We started to decide on the designs that came up yesterday. (insert blackboard picture here of all the designs), and we all decided on a design that the architects who worked with Anthony and Josh came up with. (insert paper design here).

We drew it again on the blackboard and thought about the dimensions and types of balsa wood for each joint (insert blackboard picture of design here)

We divided into two groups after we were done discussing the design of the bridge, The bridge people started to work on the platform that the car travels on, while the car people started to make the motor of the car. (insert pictures here). There were a few issues we encountered while building the bridge, though. At that time, we conserved our materials so much, our bridge started to collapse easily under low-pressure influences. We had to try to use more resources to strengthen our bridge.


Today was a different day, because we worked more on the bridge for the first half of the day. During that time period, we realized that our bridge did not meet the specifications because the supports we had from the legs of the bridge were not 1 foot from the tables. We had to quickly improvise and revise the bridge as much as we could. In the first half of the class, we also worked on the top half of the bridge, and tested out the car's capabilities. We quickly decided to shorten the distance from the bottom of the supports to the 

Later in the day, we went to the architecture students to help them out with their chair project. On Friday, July 18th, both classes would present their projects. After meeting with the architecture students, we returned back to the engineering classrooms and finished the top half of the structure as well as the car design. Our main problem now lies in the design of the car, because it moved slowly with the pressure of the bricks. We will resolve those problems on Friday morning.


This was the day of completion of suspense, because we were making last-minute touches to our bridge and car.

In the last day, we finished attaching the two parts of the bridge together and tested out the weak points on the platform of our bridge. While the bridge people did that, the car people worked on testing the car to make sure it can drive through the surface. We never put the car and bridge together, because we feared that the car would break the bridge. Little did we know, that actually happened.

If we were to finish this project, we would definitely try to use up our remaining materials to strengthen our bridge and incorporate the truss design into our final design at the last minute. In addition, we could have spent more time communicating between the team members to make sure the bridge was able to hold the weight of the car. However, our team did bond and communicate to make a great bridge and car, despite the result.

How we applied the concepts of different types of engineering throughout this week:

Civil Engineering

Civil engineers design and supervise the construction of roads, buildings, airports, and many other structures in order to ensure the safety and practicality of the people who would use them.

During this week, group 1 of the 2014 Discover Engineering program was supposed to design a bridge that would hold up a VEX car carrying three bricks. We utilized many concepts of civil engineering in our design. Our knowledge of trusses, material properties, and price ceilings made us think like civil engineers.

Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineers determine the most efficient ways to use the basic factors of production (including cost, customers, information, and more) to make the most viable product or service.

During this week, we had a limited amount of materials, crunched time, and various constraints on the dimensions/capabilities, so we had to use the skills of an industrial engineer. 

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers use the principles of energy, materials, and mechanics to design/manufacture machines of all types and create processes and systems that drive technology and industry.

We incorporated the skills of mechanical engineers during our week because we dealt with stress and tension in our bridge, worked with different materials in the VEX kit, and designed the systems the car would go through.

Pictures of our development can be seen here:

Testing our car:

Published on February 25th, 2018

Last updated on April 30th, 2020