Category Archives: Statics

CU REACT: 3D printed support reaction tool


 Overview This is a 3D printed tool we give to our Statics students when they’re learning about reactions from different 2D and 3D supports. CU REACT stands for Cornell University Reaction Exploration Analysis and Calculation Tool. Principle CU REACT has a coordinate system printed on it and 6 different supports attached, including both 3D and […]

GeoGebra Interactives for Statics


 This video provides an overview of two GeoGebra interactives which can be used for teaching and learning Engineering Mechanics: Statics. The links to the interactives include:– 2D Moment Arms:– 3D Vector Dot Product:– Full List of my GeoGebra interactives:

Real life reactions … and an engine block!


 OVERVIEW This series of exercises uses an engine hoist, four scales, and an engine block to allow students to predict (calculate) reactions and then measure them. This develops students’ confidence in their ability to calculate reactions and provides a great opportunity for “what if?” exercises. PRINCIPLE Reinforces static equilibrium and moment of a force. We […]

Zero Force Members


 Model Description This is a simple model that will demonstrate the use of zero force members (ZFM) in trusses. Wooden beams are attached with dowels to form a simple truss, which is acted on by an external force. The zero force members are identified by placing a load on a truss and then removing pins […]

Wooden Truss 3D


 Model Description This 3D model of a bridge is a model that is very close to a real representation of a bridge. It has a number of realistic features that cannot be shown with K’NEX or other simple structures.  This demonstration should take 15-20 minutes. Engineering Principle Bridges are more than just trusses put together. […]

Wooden Truss 2D


 Model Description This is a simple demonstration to introduce the basic principles of truss behavior and analysis. It will show how the shape of a truss—and not necessarily its weight/material—determines its stability. A simple truss design will be used to show that triangles are the important stability shape used in trusses rather than squares or […]

Wacky Fun Noodle


 Model Description This is a simple demonstration to show how tension and compression affect members of trusses. A wacky fun noodle (tube floatation device) will be used to demonstrate the effects of tension and compression on axial members. Students pull or push each end to display the desired behavior.  This demonstration should take 5-10 minutes. […]

Varignon’s I-Beam


 Model Description Introduce Varignon’s theorem to students as a simple way to determine the moment about a point. This demonstration should take 5-7 minutes. Engineering Principle Varignon’s Theorem states that the moment of a force is equal to the sum of the moments of that force’s components about the same point. where is the perpendicular […]

Uniformly Loaded Cables


 Model Description This is an opportunity to hang something from the ceiling and excite the students about their ability to analyze real world structures.  After a few weeks of statics lessons, students possess the ability to determine the maximum and minimum force in a cable suspension bridge through equations of equilibrium.   This demonstration should take […]