Team 6 met at the office of Thornton Tomasetti for an introduction to structural engineering. The engineers of TT provided an overview of basic concepts such as tension, compression, and bending forces.

ACE students then had an opportunity to draw on the meeting’s lesson while competing in the spaghetti hat challenge. This week’s challenge required students to design and build a hat made only of spaghetti and tape. The only criteria of this competition was to build the tallest hat possible.

An ACE mentor explains the structural and architectural purity of the triforce

Students approached the task with many different strategies, though two features were seen in many of the hats. Drawing inspiration from the design of the Hancock building, several groups made use of cross-bracing, which can be seen in the picture below as the X-shape at the base of the hat.

All the groups pursued a large spire, mimicking the real-world architectural tricks of tall buildings seeking the status of “world’s tallest building.” The winning team relied heavily on a tall spire supported by a stable pyramid shaped base, pictured below.

As a reminder: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will not be an ACE meeting on Thursday Nov. 22.

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