Carpenters: Statics

Context 

This project builds on the successful integration of prior educational technologies in classrooms of carpenter apprentices. The video below shows a sample activity of a tablet-based technology that can be deployed in classroom for understanding the behavior of a roof structure in the presence of loads like wind or snow.

Swiss carpenter apprenticeship lasts 4 years and involves one day per week at school and 4 days per week at the workplace. Master carpenters are required to be able to design and structurally guarantee the soundness of roofs in residential buildings and understand the building physics intuitively. Transfering this intuition to apprentices is necessary for their safety in the construction process and also for the stability of their products for those who finish the apprenticeship and make their own enterprise. Although carpenters are not structural engineers, they should be able, as stated on their newly reformed curriculum, to understand, explain, describe, illustrate and show the building physics of a structure. However, transfering this intuition from master carpenters to apprentices is difficult. On one hand, they cannot test the building physics in the workplace. On the other hand, schools have neither enough time to spend on teaching statics nor any way to relate intuitively the complex structures found in the workplace with basic notions like compression, tension and stress of material.