Name __________________________________

Internet Investigation and Research

Use one or more of the Internet Search Engines or resources such as magazines and books to help you find the answers to the following questions. Write a complete bibliography. When using any source, especially web sites, make sure that you check to make sure that your source is credible. Look for other resources to back up your information.. For each web site or resource, record at least this information:

For more on citing Internet Resources, refer to:

The materials used to build structures must be strong in tension, in compression or in both. Investigate the following and see how much information you can find to help you understand how structures are built for strength.

  1. Animals and insects build structures for many reasons. A wonderful example of good engineering is that done by a honeybee. Draw an illustration of their structures and discuss the geometry that you see in this design. Why is this a good example worth investigating? What properties does it have that influence its strength?
  2. When items are packed and/or shipped, they are often sent in cardboard boxes. What are the characteristics of corrugated cardboard that make it stronger than paperboard (like that in cereal boxes)? Is this corrugated cardboard stronger in some situations than in others? How does tension and compression affect it?
  3. Name some natural disasters that can have devastating effects on structures. How do they affect structures? What can be done in the construction of a structure to help in a structure's ability to experience little or no damage during natural disasters?
  4. What kinds of materials are structures built out of? List each and tell whether they are strong in tension or strong in compression.
  5. What is a beam? What materials are beams made of? Why are these appropriate materials for beams?
  6. Steel beams come in different shapes and sizes. What are some of these shapes, and what are some benefits of each of the different shapes that you find?
  7. The tallest 25 buildings in North America are as follows:
How Tall (feet) Location Building(1975)
(1) 1,821 Toronto, Ont CN Tower (1975)
(2) 1,454 Chicago, Ill Sears Tower (1974)
(3) 1,368 New York, NY World Trade Center (1973)
(4) 1,250 New York, NY Empire State Building (1931)
(5) 1,136 Chicago, Ill Amoco Building (1974)
(6) 1,127 Chicago, Ill John Hancock Center (1969)
(7) 1,050 Atlanta, GA Nation's Bank Tower (1992)
(8) 1,046 New York, NY Chrysler Building (1930)
(9) 1,017 Los Angeles, CA First Interstate World Center (1989)
(10)1,002 Houston, TX Texas Commerce Tower (1981)
(11) 992 Houston, TX First Interstate Plaza (1983)
(12) 970 Chicago, Ill 311 S. Wacker (1969)
(13) 960 Philadelphia, PA One Liberty Pl. (1987)
(14) 954 Seattle, WA Columbia Seafirst Center (1985)
(15) 952 Toronto, Ont First Canadian Pl. (1979)
(16) 951 Toronto, Ont Bay/Adelaide Project (1991)
(17) 950 New York, NY American International (1932)
(18) 948 Cleveland, OH Society Center (1991)
(19) 939 Dallas, TX National Bank Plaza (1985)
(20) 927 New York, NY 40 Wall Tower (1929)
(21) 914 New York, NY Citicorp Center (1977)
(22) 902 Toronto, Ont Scotia Plaza (1988)
(23) 901 Chicago, Ill Two Prudential Plaza (1990)
(24) 901 Houston, TX Transco Tower (1983)
(25) 891 Chicago, Ill AT&T Corporate Center (1989)

Choose at least 5 of these skyscrapers and find out as much as possible about what makes their architecture and inner structure so tall and so strong. Use the web sites on the web page skyscrapers.html to start your investigation of these structures. If you find additional web sites that have good information, make sure to write them down and tell what you found there!

Research Questions Teacher Notes
Tension and Compression Lesson Homework
PowerPoint Presentation Download PowerPoint Presentation on the Web
Web Searching LinksSkyscraper Links
Follow-up Questions Project Evaluation Instrument

This project was created by Nancy Powell and Cathy Denbesten for their Geometry Classes at Bloomington High School, Bloomington, IL. We welcome your comments and questions.