Interactive Engineering Exhibit

Ben Ness, John Stam, Steven Talsma, and Austin Van Wyhe

The Need: There presently are not any interactive science or technology displays in the common areas of the Dordt College Science Building. This kind of exhibit would draw the attention of campus visitors and students to the scientific principles and engineering techniques that exist all around us in God's Creation.

The Solution: Our team designed an interactive bridge sculpture to be placed in the entryway of the science building, which will provide people with an opportunity to engage with some of the scientific fundamentals in God's Creation. The sculpture comprises a simple truss bridge that has three "steering wheels," each one allowing the user to apply load at specific points on the truss. This user-applied force creates a strain in each member of the truss, and the brightness of LEDs mounted inside the members indicates how much strain is present. The color of the LEDs (red or blue) indicates whether the member is experiencing a tensile (pulling) force or a compressive (pushing) force. We would also like to give special thanks to the art majors who created the valley landscape below the bridge. If you want to see our sculpture in person, please visit the lobby of the Dordt College Science Building.