Building Big

October 10, 2000
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The Basic Bridge Types site has general bridge info, plus pictures and illustrated designs of bridges and how they work.

This NOVA website gives you a chance to explore the strengths and weaknesses of bridges by playing an interactive, online game! Teachers, there is also a resource guide available for classroom use.

"Build It and Bust It!" This website has created a program for you to build virtual bridges and
then test them, all online!


Called the "Big Dig," the Central Artery/Tunnel Project in Boston is the largest, most complex and technologically challenging highway project ever attempted in U.S. history. This website explores work on the tunnel and also has pictures of the work being done.

TunnelHere's the website for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, an engineering marvel that spans the Chesapeake Bay and allows travelers to cross from Virginia to Delaware.

The World's Longest Tunnels Page looks at long tunnels from around the world! Check out the tunnels under several different categories, and they also have a section for more links.

Feel like a true archaelogist as you explore the tunnels of the Western Wall in Jerusalem at this site! These tunnels have only recently been discovered and opened to the public.

Tall BuildngSkyscrapers:

Try out this website for the Empire State Building! It has lots of facts about the building its construction, plus a chance to win a free pass, if you think you might be in the area!

Chrysler BuildingWant to know what makes a skyscraper a skyscraper? The Characteristics of a Skyscraper defines what a building has to achieve to actually be called a skyscraper. There's also a link to learn more about skyscrapers throughout the last two centuries.

The Chrysler Building website has more information than you ever thought you'd need about the Chrysler Building! With sections for history, pictures, and news, you'll quickly become an expert on this engineering feat!


Want a great family project? How about building a geodesic dome club house? Learn how when you visit this website! Or maybe do one as a class project - check out these plans for bamboo domes, or domes made with conduit, or cardboard!


This Web site for the Hoover Dam details the history of the remarkable construction feat and gives you a chance to learn more about this amazing structure. Teachers, there is also a learning packet available for use in the classroom.

This site has additional information about the Hoover Dam (from the PBS film "The American Experience") with charts and graphs about the biggest dams in the United States and more. There is also a teaching guide available!

The Grand Coulee Dam is another structural wonder. Check out the website for more information on facts and figures about this dam.

The Bureau of Reclamation has lots of info about dams throughout the Northwest (including Idaho!) and looks at important issues about dealing with dams.

Apple    Teacher Resources:    Apple

This Keep Standing! lesson plan helps your students understand structures and architecture, and how buildings stand up under the pressure that earthquakes exert.

This Newton's Apple lesson plan helps you model the Metrodome to help students learn about what keeps inflated stadiums from falling down.

In an interesting twist on the traditional bridge-building project, learn about bridges built out of spaghetti at this site! Check it out for a possible classroom activity.

Be sure to check out David Macauley's The Way Things Work site for information about other books by Macauley!

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