Quiz: What Jenga Teaches Us About Structural Engineering
Jenga is a simple game of wooden blocks and gravity, until you play against a structural engineer. Test your knowledge of the game and of the engineering principles that win it.
True or False: Jenga is based on an ancient game played for centuries in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
What does the word "Jenga" mean in Swahili?
How many blocks come in the original Jenga set?
What is the tallest Jenga tower achieved during regular game play (not towers made from multiple sets)?
- 40.6 feet
- 52.3 feet
- 60 feet
True or False: There is a Nintendo Wii version of Jenga.
In structural engineering, what is the name of the downward force supported by walls and beams and ceilings in a building?
- standing weight
What type of load describes the shifting forces created by people and furniture in a building?
- dead load
- live load
- dynamic load
Which of the following is the most accurate definition of a dead load?
- The static forces created by all of the structural elements of a building, like steel beams, rivets, windows and dry wall.
- The load created by only the steel skeleton of a building
- The combined force created during the collapse of a building
Which of the following is NOT an example of a dynamic load?
- An earthquake
- A plane crashing into the building
- Foundation settling
What is a popular type of foundation when building a tall structure in loose or shifting soils?
- slab on grade foundation
- pile foundation
Which of the following is NOT one of the central functions of a foundation?
- To make room for a basement
- To transfer and disperse load directly into the soil
- To anchor the home to the earth
In structural engineering, what's the term that indicates the amount of force necessary to pull apart a type of construction material?
- tensile strength
- fail force
- breaking point
True or False: It's impossible for the same structural element in a building to experience both tension and compression at the same time.
How much weight can a 10-centimeter diameter steel cable hold?
- 5,000 pounds (2,268 pounds)
- 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms)
- More than 15,000 pounds (6,804 kilograms)
What is the name for the rotational force created when a lever arm is turned around a pivot or fulcrum?
- All of the above
In structural enginering, which of the following statements is true?
- The closer together the supports of a structure, the more stable the building.
- The farther apart the supports of a structure, the more stable the building.
- One support is always more stable than two supports.
True or False: It is against official Jenga rules to pinch together two blocks in the same row to form a single support.
A top-heavy structure is MORE or LESS stable than a bottom-heavy structure in an earthquake?
- more stable
- less stable
- equally stable
In an earthquake, which types of vibrations are the most likely to cause a structural collapse?
- Vertical (up and down) vibrations
- Lateral (side to side) vibrations
What is D'Alembert's Principle of inertial forces?
- An object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.
- When an acceleration is applied to a mass, the mass opposes that acceleration in the opposite direction
- A force applied to a mass will move the object an equivalent distance, minus friction