Happy Friday and happy because next week is short!!
Don’t forget to join Kacey at Doodlebugs for Five for Friday!
So this is all about bridges…..one of our favorite activities in the lab!
Okay, I know kids love making bridges. It’s a challenge I have used with my science club years and years ago and then again in the STEM lab one year ago. For some reason, any time we build something and then test it by adding weights, kids go nuts. It’s a competition thing, I think. They especially love it when they get to 100 pennies, because that is ONE DOLLAR! (They race across the lab to tell their friends- like one dollar is just so much….)
Anyway, the first bridge we tried last year was a platform bridge.
This was super easy, one supply, and had unexpected results. The platform bridges held a lot of weight! The main thing we had to determine, however, is whether or not this is a bridge. I had kids do the research and here is what they found:
Granted, it’s not the Golden Gate Bridge, but it is a platform that appears to be solid on the bottom and still works as a bridge. We also thought decks and floating boat docks might be considered platform bridges.
We loved , loved this one. Well, who wouldn’t? Two supplies, easy prep, and it took some brain power to determine how to connect all that and still have a structure to connect the two banks (tissue boxes). Then we placed a bowl on top and counted pennies into it. Total fun!
Now this one had more supplies, but was still easy prep. The biggest dilemma was how to connect straws together. You might notice that the bridge in the photo has toothpicks stabbed through the straws- not the best of ideas. I did this bridge experience with 5th graders.
This is one of best bridge building experiences. I created a homework video and put it on my classroom website! My fifth graders had to watch this and come to class prepared with ideas about building a suspension bridge.
I will have to tell you that I have not seen such excitement over anything we have done (even pancakes)!
The photos show two bridges in the beginning stages.
Here’s a finished one!
Finally, do you think first graders can build bridges? YES, they can! I tried something with a group of littles that was just amazing.
They used two materials and after watching a short video about engineers and talking about bridges they set out to build one!
You can try a post I wrote just about this experience right here:
Thanks for stopping by to read all about bridges.