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     Bridging the gap between theory & practical

Chandigarh, November 12 2005

Dr. Gupta looks over the paper bridge models designed by first year students

It was a bridge to nowhere, but one of the most difficult to make and cross for Khushwinder Singh, a first-year student of Punjab Engineering College. Nervous he was, after all the bridge was made of just paper and sewn together with a thread! He and his team members, surrounded by other students, waited with baited breath for the red car to cross the bridge successfully. Ten seconds later, it did!

It was an exciting experience for 180 students of the first semester at the college today morning as their paper models of bridges, part of an assignment given to them, were tested in reality.

There was no dearth of creativity in their models. Railway tracks, the London Bridge and tyres of tanks were the inspiration behind these designs. While girls used their gender as an advantage by making use of their sewing skills in various models, boys were not far behind either; they had their mothers help them out.

“My mother sewed the bridge together on a sewing machine,” said Prakram. The students had to make a bridge using a chart paper cut into strips no longer than 20 cm and no wider than 5 cm. To hold it together, they could use a string/thread of tensile strength no greater than 10N and not more than 20 m in length. Moreover, the bridge should not weigh more than 40 gm.

As a test, a 500-gm car had to successfully move across the bridge without falling. Prof Vijay Gupta, Director, PEC, checked each bridge and gave marks to the students for the assignment.

Around 45 bridges were prepared. While some were rejected as these did not adhere to the specifications prescribed, others failed due to fault in design.

On an average, the students had to make bridges at least thrice before the final model was made. Interestingly, none of the students knew what the other had made. “It was pure competition, a secret project,” they said.

In the end, it was, however, pure fun for the students, as they chorused that they would have no problem doing more such assignments.

 | Original Source of News

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