Trust Trusses

By Katie Chi-Ling Lo
Elementary Category (Grades 4-6)
Experiment | Engineering and Computer Science

The idea for this project came to me after a winter where there was lots of snow here in Smithers. We had so much snow that people who had houses with a roof that had a lower pitch, were encouraged to shovel the snow off their roof to stop the roof from breaking down under the weight of the snow.  I was curious to see if we could test two different truss designs; one with a ¼ slope and another with a 4/4 slope to see how they would hold up when a mass was applied.  I decided that using a large bag which I filled with water, I could drape it over two different truss systems that I made out of popsicle sticks and wooden blocks.  I thought that the steeper roof pitch (4/4) would take more load and that it would do better if we had another snowy winter.  However, I was surprised to find that the less steep truss did better; in fact, it withstood 2 more liters of water spread along its structure than the steeper truss (¼).  This experiment was very enjoyable I hope you find out some things about trusses just like I did. Read more and find out why the truss with a ¼ slope did better than the truss with a 4/4 slope!

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