Thursday, January 13, 2022

Bridges: The Cantilever

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Learning, Science & Society

Ed Hessler

Bridges offer many learning opportunities in science, engineering, technology and the social sciences. One of the bridge designs--the cantilever--is very pleasing to the eye and also makes you wonder how the thing works. Diving boards are an example of a small cantilever.

Here is an explanation with a great picture. And here is a directory of cantilever bridges--with photographs--from around the world as well as information about the bridges, e.g. span.

My real purpose in this post was this historical picture (1887) of engineers demonstrating how a cantilever bridge manages the fight against gravity. There is an explanation below and you will note that this is an international group, with one from Japan who was in the United Kingdom to study. They are a very formidable and professional looking group.

One such bridge has a lovely place name, one fun to roll around in your mouth and form with lips and tongue,  is Scotland's "Firth of Forth" which combines two terms: "the estuary (firth) of of the River Forth."

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