How many sides does a tetrahedron have? How would you set about building one that was over three metres tall? This challenge was set for students in Year s 9, 10 and 11 by engineers from construction company Wilmott Dixon.
A tetrahedron, of course, has four triangular sides. Working in teams the students created small tetrahedrons from six 40cm dowels held together with elastic bands. Four of these created a ‘medium’ shape, which again were connected. Creating ever larger shapes to raise the height of the tetrahedron, the students needed to work closely together to ensure that their finished structure was stable and balanced.
All the groups managed to complete the task within the time allowed, learning how to overcome problems as they arose and amend the structure as required.
Working with industry professionals, the students got a glimpse of the challenges faced in construction as a potential career path.