8th April 2016 • Tower Bridge Blog
Celebrating British Science Week
Tower Bridge celebrated British Science Week in March by inviting visiting families to become Science Explorers and discover the fascinating science behind this engineering marvel. Throughout the Exhibition journey, families completed different challenges to demonstrate how science can be found at every turn and were rewarded with a specially designed Science Explorer certificate to take home.
The first challenge took place in the towers, where we built bridges using nothing but paper. Families were amazed to see that, just like Tower Bridge, a paper bridge is stronger if it is built using triangles instead of squares.
In the high-level walkways, families were tasked with putting together a 3D jigsaw of Tower Bridge in the fastest possible time, with the Park’s doing it in an impressive 1 minute 24 seconds – well done! The jigsaws showed how the Bridge’s bascules (movable roadways) move like a playground seesaw and the importance of having both sides balanced in helping the Bridge open easily.
Next, using the magical power of our own hands to make heat energy in hand boilers, we saw how the massive Victorian boilers in the Engine Rooms made energy to power the Bridge. Before the 1970s , the Bridge had to generate its own steam power using coal fires. All of the families loved seeing how quickly they could make the liquid boil!
The final challenge, and of course the learning team’s favourite, was to find out how Tower Bridge used steam to power the hydraulic drive engines which once opened it – much like a modern day water pistol. Who knew that the pressured water inside the pistol could be used to turn our Bridge lifting cog instead of being used to soak our friends?
Well done to all the new certified Science Explorers, we expect to see you all running Tower Bridge in the near future!
If you missed out please see our families’ page for the dates of future family activities.
Sophie, Education Assistant