Thursday, March 25, 2021

Class Use

Sometimes when sitting in a classroom and being stuck at school for hours, I often wonder when will I ever use this in real life in the future? I am usually thinking this halfway through a super hard math class or a confusing chemistry lesson.

Recently in my senior physics class, we were assigned a project to design and build a bridge out of a handful of pieces of various sizes of Balsa wood. Everyone in the class was given the same amount. It is part of a contest to see who can design and build the best bridge that can hold the most weight based on the weight of each individual bridge.

For the past couple of weeks I have put my woodworking hat on and started to design my bridge, along with the help of my dad and brothers of course. Everyone has their own idea, which they think is going to be great. My oldest brother especially thinks his ideas are amazing because he did one similar to it back when he was in high school. I do not know how much to trust his judgment however, because his bridge broke and did not hold a lot of weight. My grandpa has even offered his advice informing me that it would be extremely strong if I were to sneak a piece of metal between the wood. That however, would be frowned upon and be considered cheating on the assignment, but I know he’s right!

We are trying to design a bridge like a piece of strong farm equipment. Specifically like the beam of a head trailer that must support it for long transports or the beam of a planter to hold dry fertilizer, insecticide, and seed. From operating the grain cart last fall, a few of our fields have a bridge that I often say a quick prayer before crossing with a heavy load. I realize how important a good heavy bridge really is.

After countless designs were sketched, the perfect one was finally drawn. I did not realize how many other class subjects were used to create this one bridge. I had to use a lot of math. I had to measure angles, ensure my bridge will meet the height and width requirements, and calculate the perfect length to connect the pieces of wood. I used woodworking when cutting the pieces and countless other skills. It also made me realize how many skills farmers use daily while on the farm. They use a lot of math to calculate the perfect feed ration recipe. They also use math to calculate yields and see if they made a profit and they use mechanical and engineering skills when fixing machinery, especially now as they are gearing up for spring. Much to my surprise, farmers even use physics.

Farmers use a lot of different skills and do so many things involving math and chemistry. They do in fact use what I am learning in school each day. Now, whenever I ask myself when I am ever going to use this in my future? I know that there is a huge chance I will probably use it down the road. This is a good reminder to stop staring at the clock and waiting for the bell to ring. While I am anxiously counting down the days until graduation, I still need to focus on what is happening in front of me, even if that means waiting for the glue to dry on my cool new bridge. ~ Kesley Holdgrafer

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