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Forces Acting on Structures



Learn about structures and the natural forces that can affect them.

In this time of climate change we have been witness to many natural disasters which have caused the destruction of man-made structures. Tornadoes, tsunamis, floods, avalanches and earthquakes have created external forces which have produced stresses on the materials that we use to build buildings, bridges and roads. All structures around us are built to bear live loads but sometimes they succumb to these powerful external forces of Mother Nature and disaster ensues.

The external forces such as wind, water and the vibration of the earth when an earthquake happens create internal forces within a structure. Internal forces such as shear, tension and compression can destroy the inner framework of a building or a bridge even though it is made of super strong steel and concrete.

Natural external forces acting on structures is part of the grade five curriculum, we have many books in our system, as well as links to databases that can help with a research on this topic.

Click on one of the pictures or links below to find our recommended resources:

Natural Disasters: EarthquakesSkyscrapersBridgesBuildings

Natural Disasters
Discover fun facts about natural disasters, focusing on the key concepts to understanding the science behind volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and wildfires.

Learn about different types of skyscrapers, focusing on design, construction, and history.

Discover information about these important passageways, focusing on design, construction, and history.

Learn about different types of buildings and superstructures, focusing on people involved, design, construction and history.

Structural Engineering
Learn about basic physics and the process of building structures.

Catalogue search: natural disasters -- juvenile literature and buildings -- juvenile literature

Canadian Encyclopedia
Canadian Encyclopedia

Your best source of info on Canadian topics. Use the search box to find in-depth articles from the Canadian Encyclopedia, Maclean's Magazine, Canadian Encyclopedia of Music, and TV and radio spots such as Historica Minutes.

Science & Technology for Kids
Science & Technology for Kids

Look here for information on science, animals, planets and space. Good for grades 4-8.

World Book
World Book

The full print encyclopedia plus additional articles, videos, sound clips and links to websites.

PBS Building Big
Learn about building large structures

PBS Build a Bridge
Learn and then put your knowledge to the test and build a bridge.

Canada Science and Technology Museum Tell Me About Structures
Learn about structures.

National Geographic Natural Disasters
Learn about natural disasters and see some neat pictures.

See also: