Truss, beam, suspension and arch: do you know your bridges? Jennifer Sapp’s accelerated academic students at Roulhac Middle School do. For the past month, they’ve been exploring the field of civil engineering and learning about bridge design and construction and the forces that cause bridges to fail. As a 4-H in the Classroom partner, the students participated in the 2017 4-H STEM Challenge: Bridge Building Basics.
This month-long unit introduced students to 4-H projects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through hands-on, experiential learning. Using materials like spaghetti, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, string and hot glue, students designed and built four bridges and put them through weight tests to see if they met minimum qualifications.
Their final project included a Request for Proposal presentation in which the students created a team name, logo, mission statement and prototype. The presentations featured their logo artwork and designs as well as a final weight test.
The materials for the 2017 4-H STEM Challenge: Bridge Building Basics was sponsored in part by the Mott MacDonald engineering firm and engineer, Rick Branton.