Attention: Safety Recall of Vernier Go Direct Charge Station. Click to learn more.




Imagine you are walking across a simple plank that spans a creek and you stop in the middle of the plank to enjoy the scenery. Consider the plank you are standing on. You will notice it is bowing a bit downward where you stand. If you were to change the dimensions, could you make the beam less flexible (more rigid)?


  • Students will engage in an inquiry activity to develop a mathematical model based on observations (of their own devising) of the physical world.
  • Students will understand the factors that affect the deflection of a center-loaded rectangular beam, supported on both ends, including width, thickness, and length.
  • Students will construct a model representing the relationship of factors affecting the deflection of center-loaded rectangular beams.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

Ready to Experiment?

Ask an Expert

Get answers to your questions about how to teach this experiment with our support team.

Purchase the Lab Book

This experiment is #1 of Materials Testing: Beams to Bridges with Go Direct® Structures & Materials Tester. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

Learn More