Design and Test Weight-bearing Structures on Your Android Device
Truss Me is an Android app that students can use to design and test weight-bearing structures like bridges. I initially tried Truss Me a couple of years ago as an iPad app. Last week the app became available for Android phones and tablets.
Truss Me can be used in “challenge” mode or in “free play” mode. The challenge mode contains fifteen activities in which students are awarded points for strength and efficiency of their structures. For example, if a structure holds the weight but uses too many parts it doesn’t receive as many points as a structure using fewer parts while supporting the same weight. Structures that won’t work at all fall apart.
Truss Me is a nice app that could be used as part of a simple physics lesson. I would like to see the app offer more instruction to students in terms of why a particular structure design is better or worse than another, but that’s where your lesson could start.