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Public Information » E-Newsletter » E-Newsletter Dec 10

New Era, New Span --- Bridge Commission's E-Newsletter --- December 2010


"Bridges and Why They Stand up" - The Latest Learning Bridge Experience 

That was the title of the presentation that opened the day of fun and learning at Palmyra Cove Nature Park for students from Haddonfield and Palmyra on November 19th, but it was the last static classroom experience. Drexel University planned and executed the program, which featured a walking tour on the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge and three hands-on learning modules designed to introduce the different aspects of civil engineering, primarily design, analysis, and construction:

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K'NEX Bridge Building:  Divided into groups of 4-5, students are challenged with building a truss bridge to span a 2-foot gap. They had 5 minutes to sketch ideas for efficient designs, then 20 minutes to build their truss bridge from K'Nex parts. At the end of the day all truss bridges were weighed and loaded until failure, with the highest scoring team declared the winner.

Rapid Construction:  After hearing about the role of teamwork in the construction industry and safety requirements, students worked as a group to assemble a 16-ft. steel model of a bridge within a 15-minute timeframe. Following the exercise, the students talked about challenges encountered and skills needed for effective teamwork.
Tac-Pal Physical Model Demonstration:  Using a 30-foot scaled model of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, students were split into groups, presented with questions related to the model and instrumentation, and asked to make hypotheses based on their scientific knowledge and intuition. Students then performed controlled experiments to witness the bridge's response to loading. Answers were compared to actual bridge response and prizes were awarded to the group with the highest score.


BCBC Police Assist with School Emergency Exercise

A full-scale crisis evacuation exercise held at the Charles Street School in Palmyra on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving involved local, county, and state authorities, including the Burlington County Bridge Commission Bridge Police Department.  The drill started with a phone call to the school claiming a bomb—set to detonate in two hours—was in the building.

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While students and staff filed out of the building and emergency personnel arrived on the scene, a “suspicious” package was found.  Trained bomb-sniffing dogs and their handlers from the County Sheriff’s K-9 unit quickly found the fake package.  The exercise was a success. More than two-hundred students were evacuated in minutes to a pre-determined location.
The drill also demonstrated how multiple agencies can work together in a crisis situation. Participants included (in addition to the Burlington County Bridge Commission police department) law enforcement officials from Palmyra, Cinnaminson, Riverton, and New Jersey State Police; the Burlington County Office of Emergency Management and Sheriff’s Department; Palmyra Emergency Medical Services; Cinnaminson School District; and Tri-Boro CERT (Certified Emergency Response Team). 

Transportation Builder Publication Highlights "Learning Bridge"

“Nothing can substitute the learning and understanding one gains from observation, especially when it comes to engineering.”  That’s the theme of the article that appears in the November/December 2010 issue of Transportation Builder magazine, the official publication of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. The partnership initiative called the “Learning Bridge” is featured as this issue’s “Project Spotlight.” 
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NEW at PCNP!  Nature Craft & Story Time for Preschoolers

Want to avoid feeling cooped up with your preschooler this winter? Come to Palmyra Cove Nature Park for an enjoyable outing!  Each week, children will hear a different nature-related story and do a craft to go along with it.  They will even venture outside for short hikes in good weather.   Held Monday and Tuesday mornings from 10 AM to 11 AM, Nature Craft & Story Time runs from January 3rd through February 22nd. Cost is $5 per child per class or FREE for Palmyra Cove Nature Park family members. Advance reservations required for each day; classes may be cancelled due to inclement weather. For more information or to register, contact Kristina at 856-829-1900, ext. 267, or kmerola@bcbridges.org.  

Gratitude for Vice-Chairwoman Anderson's Service to Bridge Commission

At the December Commission meeting, Chairman Comegno joined Commissioner Singleton and members of the Commission staff in expressing their gratitude to Vice-Chairwoman Priscilla B. Anderson for 6 years of service as Commissioner.


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