Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Building Bridges!

One of our first building projects in 8th grade Concepts of Engineering class is to learn about the physics of bridges and then construct one with a team.  In addition to learning about bridges, the students also learn about budgets, time constraints and team work.  

After doing research (which they compile in an Engineering Notebook), they use some online simulations including WestPoint Bridge Designer to better understand possible options for construction. We always enjoy doing this as a bit of a competition, so see who can build the cheapest bridge that still works!  

Next they use Sketchup to design to scale the bridge they will ultimately build.  

Their planning phase prior to actual building consists of working with their team and a budget, determining which materials (and how many) to buy within that budget, and then finally, constructions begins with the teams.

After a lot of re-engineering (and documenting their work just like real engineers in their Engineering Notebook!) the final phase of official testing begins to see which bridge will hold the most weight.

If you'd like the full lesson, it's available from TeachersPayTeachers here.

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