Academic journal article Science and Children

Civil Engineering and the Science of Structures

Academic journal article Science and Children

Civil Engineering and the Science of Structures

Article excerpt

By Andrew Solway. $9.95. 32 pp. Crabtree. New York. 2013. ISBN: 9780778775010.

Have you ever been asked by a student, "How does that building stay up?" or "What causes that bridge to hold all the traffic?" If you have gotten such questions, then this great little book can be a gateway to understanding and maybe future careers. From the ancient engineers who built the Great Wall of China and the pyramids to the modern engineers who built the structures used in London's 2012 Olympics, the principles are the same. Some of the tools have changed, but the basic principles are the same: first, identifying the problem that needs to be solved; second, following a step-by-step process, looking at possible solutions; and finally, getting to the final testing and construction. Mistakes by engineers are acknowledged, but the key point made is not to repeat them, with the goal always being to minimize them through planning. While civil engineering is as old as the pyramids, it is always changing, as new materials are always being developed, which can be used in novel ways to create bigger and better projects to help people. …

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