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The Brunel Experience
Each programme presents a practical problem with examples rooted in the accomplishments
of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in his time, one of the world's greatest engineers.
The Bristol University Library which houses Brunel's notes and many of his original designs, hosted a special course for
teams of 170 secondary school technology students from throughout England.
They were challenged with creating solutions to problems inspired by Brunel's work within specific guidelines
for materials, deadlines and costs.
The programmes alternate nicely between historical facts in documentary style, and the student projects.
3: A Hefty Problem
The I. K. Brunel Railroad Bridge weighing 1000 tons and 150 metres long was built in 1859 on the banks
of the river Thames and then floated on barges to its permanent site.
Brunel personally supervised this procedure communicating with large teams of workers.
The problem presented to the students is to lift a 56kg concrete block off the floor and move it to another location.
The materials provided were steel constructions kits including steel strips and the plates nuts and bolts to put it all together;
fishing line with a breaking strength of 25 kg; pulleys and spindles, casters and tools.
One team of students is given two hours to create a printed design that another group of students will build.
It seems to be a choice between pulleys and levers and the students learn that communicating a design to those who
will do the construction is just the first challenge in this project.
Presented by Sue Ingle and Max Glaskin
Narrator: Bob Salkeld
Producer: Robin Gwyn
Production Company: BBC Education
Video: DivX 5 720x536 25.00fps 1157Kbps
Audio: MPEG Audio Layer 3 44100Hz 128Kbps
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