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Forces and Motion
Geometry versus Forces



Geometry versus Forces
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.44

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    versus, lateral, geometric, compression, geometry, affected, gust, design, works, gravity, builder, absorb, height, leaning, however, triangle
     content words:    Tough-Shape Battle, Ancient Egypt, Great Pyramid, Eiffel Tower


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Geometry versus Forces
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     The headlines read, "Triangle versus Square and Rectangle in the Tough-Shape Battle of the Century!" Who do you think will win? Well, if you said the triangle would win, you were right. If you look around, you will notice that most of our buildings are shaped like rectangles and squares. However, if you look closely, you will see that those buildings also include triangles. Triangles are the strongest geometric shape in the world. Its shape is very simple: a flat base with two sides that come together at the top to meet at a point. They are rigid, able to stand freely, and able to support their own weight. They do this against the forces of gravity. So when did the first builder use the triangle as a design?
 
2     Many years ago in Ancient Egypt, builders designed huge pyramids. A pyramid is a building that has a square base or bottom. It has four sides shaped like triangles that meet at the top in a point. One of the oldest pyramids in Egypt is called the Great Pyramid of Khufu. It was built around 2575 BC. This pyramid is one of the largest surviving pyramids in the world today. It is about 480 feet tall, and its base is 755 feet wide. Before 1889 when the Eiffel Tower was built in France, the Pyramid of Khufu was the tallest building on earth. The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall. What makes the pyramid's design perfect is the way it works against gravity.

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