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A Musical Twist on the Standard Bridge Project

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

Mechanics, Music, Meaning, and Mohr

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27488

Download Count

9

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Paper Authors

biography

Vicki V. May Dartmouth College

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Vicki V. May, Ph.D., P.E. is an Instructional Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on engineering education and K-12 outreach. She teaches courses in solid mechanics, structural analysis, and design at Dartmouth. Prior to relocating to the east coast, Professor May was an Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

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Abstract

As part of an introductory solid mechanics course students designed, analyzed, and built sound-generating or musical bridges in small groups. The bridges will be used for an engineering-inspired composition to be performed in the spring of 2017.

The main goal of the project was to have students apply the theory discussed in class to design, analyze, and build sound-generating or musical bridges in small groups. Additional goals for the project were: to engage a broader demographic of students (specifically women and underrepresented minorities), help students build connections between engineering and music, and encourage students to be creative.

Students analyzed the forces, stresses, and deflections expected in their bridges. Further, they calculated stiffnesses and frequencies. And they carefully selected materials based on acoustical properties such as impedance and sound radiation.

Students reported learning more and being more engaged with the musical bridge project as compared to previous years when a more standard bridge project was used. Female students were more likely to recommend that the musical bridge project be used in future years.

May, V. V. (2017, June), A Musical Twist on the Standard Bridge Project Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27488

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