The students from one team scan their bridge with the Leica scanner

The students from one team scan their bridge with the Leica scanner

Last weekend, we taught an all day class to 7th-9th grade students from around the Pittsburgh area.  The class is part of CMU’s C-MITES program. The students learned about different kinds of bridges, laser scanners and how they work, and how 3D imaging is used in research and industry. They then designed and built their own bridges using what they learned about bridge design, with the goal of keeping the bridges from sagging when we put a heavy weight on them.  The students then scanned the bridges with and without the weight and measured how much the bridges moved in the point cloud data.  In the process, they learned how to register laser scans, how to model objects from 3D, and how to conduct virtual measurements and inspections. The students had a great time, and they got hands-on experience with laser scanners, which is not something every 7th grader can say they’ve done.

Students used professional software to analyze and model point cloud data.

Students used professional software to analyze and model point cloud data.

The students worked in teams to design and build their own bridges.

The students worked in teams to design and build their own bridges.