Lego Bridges

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By Lukas Chu and Shaun Wurster

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Abstract

The results were that beam bridges are the most stable when using Legos to build bridges, we have tried making other bridges like an arch bridge and cable bridge (using Lego strings) but that didn’t work. We tried to build a cable bridge first using Lego strings, but it didn’t really work out because we ran out of strings and also the strings didn’t hold the Lego bricks up very well, the strings could only hold one block each because there was a beam in the middle where all the strings were attached on one side so the other side of the strings were attached to one block. The arch bridge didn’t go well either because we ran out of pieces that curved and the curved pieces wouldn’t hold. The beam bridge was the easiest to build and it worked the best, but I think if we could have gotten the other bridges to work, they would have worked a little better than the beam bridge. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyT2FuZEklMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Object and Inquiry

Object: The structure of Lego bridges.
Inquiry: What kind of Lego bridge structure will hold weights best and how much weight can the bridge hold, what size Legos are best to building a sturdy Lego bridge, what can we add to a Lego bridge to make it better, will a bigger bridge hold heavier objects? 
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Hypothesis

If we build a stable enough bridge, it can hold some heavy weights.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUldVJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Research Write Up

Prior Knowledge
Lukas’s: I know that you shouldn’t put blocks in a stack with one connecting piece. I think that the best way to build a tower is with pieces connecting other pieces. The thing I know most is that you should add a big long flat piece at the top and bottom so it can hold everything together. When I built a tower, I put a flat piece after every row of pieces, and it was sturdy. Whenever I build, I use the same size pieces so that the whole thing will be sturdier. I also think that if the bridge is wider and thicker then it will be more capable of holding heavy objects because if it is wider then you can put more objects on the bridge and if it is thicker then it will be sturdier. I build Legos a lot, but I don’t know all the best structures I only know some. That is the structure I use whenever I build bridges.

Shaun’s: Lego structure is horrible in general to carry certain weights, but some is better like Lego technic and the Lego Bionicle body pieces because they have holes in them that use a connecting cylinder to connect the two blocks.1

Research Summary
Legos are not naturally used for holding weights, but we are going to try to make a bridge that can hold weights for our project. An example of a good structure is putting 2 blocks next to each other and putting one on top to connect them together and do that multiple times with more Legos. Another type of Lego structure is putting two Legos on top of each other and make a stack then put one big flat piece on the top and bottom of the stacks but that type of structure is not as stable.2
In 1932 Lego structures were invented but they got better over time so now they can lift heavier objects and won’t break apart as easily.3 We can also use the bridge as a barrier or a dam because dams and barriers must be stable, or they will collapse and destroy everything.4 You should also make a strong base for the bridge otherwise it will fall over if you throw something at it or put something on top of it.5
There are different types of bridges and different bridges have different strengths, for example a suspension bridge is strong because there are cables holding it up. Some bridges have a lot of supporting beams under them and some bridges float on water. We want to try to build a beam bridge because the other types of bridges might not be possible if you just use Legos. Lukas thinks the most stable type of bridge is a beam bridge because there are so many supporting beams.6

Refined Knowledge and Questions
Will Legos break apart if you put too much weight on them? How much weight will it take to break a Lego? Will different types bridges made of Legos hold weights better? Will the position of the weight effect if the bridge will break or not? Will it be easy to build a suspension bridge? [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVGFuZE0lMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tools and Materials

  • Computer
  • Legos
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Brain
  • Hands
  • Weights
  • The independent variable is the Lego bridge. The dependent variable is the stability of the Lego bridge and the amount of weight we place on the Lego. The controlled variables are the Lego brick itself, the wind that blows against the Legos, the weight we put on the Legos, and the weight itself. 

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Procedure and Data

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Journal

3/6/2020 Today I worked on the lab report part of the project.
3/7/2020: Today I built a bridge to test the weight.
3/8/2020: Today I made the bridge bigger.
3/9/2020: I typed some of the research write up.
3/10/2020: I didn’t work on it
3/11/2020: I researched more on bridges
3/12/2020: I researched more on bridges
3/13/2020: I researched more on bridges
3/14/2020: I did not work on it
3/15/2020: Shaun came to my house and we built more bridges
3/16/2020: I typed for it
3/17/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/18/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/19/2020 I finished most of the lab report
3/20/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/21/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/22/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/23/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/24/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/25/2020 I typed some of the insights and reflections
3/26/2020 Shaun rebuilt the bridge he accidently destroyed
3/27/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/28/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/29/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/30/2020 I didn’t work on it
3/31/2020 I typed some more of the insights and reflections
4/1/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/2/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/3/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/4/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/5/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/6/2020 I typed some of the insights and reflections
4/7/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/8/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/9/2020 Shaun and I worked on the insights and reflections
4/10/2020 I finished the Results and Conlusion
4/11/2020 I typed the rest of the data from the other bridges.
4/12/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/13/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/14/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/15/2020 I put a few extra pieces to the bridge
4/16/2020 I took the pictures of the new bridges
4/17/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/18/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/19/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/20/2020 I typed more of the insights and reflections
4/21/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/22/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/23/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/24/2020 We had a meeting with Mr. O
4/25/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/26/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/27/2020 I didn’t work on it
4/28/2020 I finished the insights and reflections 
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Procedure

First, we built a bridge made from Legos. We put 2 3lb weights on the bridge and the bridge didn’t collapse. But when we put the 2 weights, so they were tall the bridge collapsed. After we added one layer and when we put them up tall it didn’t break. After we put a 10lb weight on the bridge and sometimes it broke but sometimes it didn’t. Lukas thinks that it was because of the position of the weight. Then we put a supporting beam under the bridge in the middle bridge didn’t collapse. First the bridge was 4 studs long, then we made it 6 studs then finally 8 studs. I think it was most stable at 6 studs long. In the middle of every bridge we put a little supporting beam to make it more stable. All the bridges were 2 bricks thick except for the 8-stud wide bridge, we made it 3 bricks thick because it was not stable at 2. Then we built a bridge that was 6 studs wide and 24 studs long, it was not very stable since we only used flat pieces and one layer of bricks. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyRGFuZEElMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Data and Analysis

At the base of the bridge there was a 6 by 6 by 3 stacks so that I could put the bridge on it, then the bridge was 16 pieces long. At the base of the 8-stud bridge there was a 10 by 3 by 6 box that help the bridge up. The 4th bridge was 6 studs by 24 studs and the base was like stairs that were 4 studs wide. It took 3 hours build all the bridges and test them and get them to the most stable point they can be at. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUmFuZEMlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Results and Conclusion

The bridges were stable enough to hole some weights, but the 8-stud long bridge was not very stable in the middle, even after we put a big supporting beam under it. Lego bridges can hold weights if they are strong enough, but usually people use wooden bridges, stone bridges, cement bridges, etc. to hold anything. [/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIySWFuZFIlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Insights and Reflections

Lukas: I liked building the bridges and messing around to get the best type of bridge, but our favorite part was getting the right pieces so it would be stable because it was fun trying to look for pieces. There were a lot of pieces in the beginning but when we were done there was almost none left.
Shaun: I liked that it took a long time to build the bridges since we had nothing to do and it was very time consuming. I didn’t like when the I accidently destroyed one of the bridges that I built. But overall, Lukas and I had a fun time building bridges and messing around with weights and Legos. 
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Bibliography

1.“Which Pattern of Lego’s Can Hold the Most Weight? – Science Fair.” Google Sites, http://sites.google.com/a/crestmem.edu/science-fair/2015-2016-projects/which-pattern-of-lego-s-can-hold-the-most-weight, March 1, 2020.
2. “The Early History of LEGO.” Mental Floss, 21 Aug. 2008, http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/19400/early-history-lego.
3. Staff, WIRED. “Fresh Vehicles Bring Lego’s Bionicle to New Levels of Radness.” Wired, Conde Nast, 4 June 2017, http://www.wired.com/2009/08/bioniclevehicles/.
4. LEGO Education. “Bridge: Advancing with Simple & Powered Machines.” http://Https://Education.lego.com, education.lego.com/en-us/lessons/advancing-with-spm/bridge#Planitem0.
5. Vanstone, Emma, and Lego. “How to Build a Stable LEGO Bridge.” Science Experiments for Kids, 15 Apr. 2016, http://www.science-sparks.com/how-to-build-a-stable-lego-bridge/.
6. “Types of Bridges.” Bridge Types – Different Types of Bridges. Accessed March 9, 2020. http://www.historyofbridges.com/facts-about-bridges/types-of-bridges/.
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