THIS IS A LONG POST…
This lesson began with the desire to create a project based learning activity.
Most students were working in groups, so getting along, making construction and design decisions was a big part of the assignment.
The project would require working in groups, drawing skills, estimating skills, construction skills, computer work, and writing ability.
It starts off some research about bridges in Dayton, then some quick research on truss bridges.
My assignment to them was to go to a google search page, type in “mr. tayse” then go to the tab on the class website that had the assignment.
That leads to drawings of bridges.
After doing research about bridges in the Dayton area and then truss bridges in particular, I told the students they were to draw examples of truss bridges to be constructed with popsicle sticks. They have built modular constructions using paper before, so this was not difficult for them to grasp.
After the drawing was done, and the estimate of how many sticks would be required, I had the students lay some thin sheets of cellophane/plastic over the drawing. My thought was if they arranged wood and glue constructions upon the drawing, the bridge sides would glue to the paper, whereas the cellophane would pull away more easily. This worked fine.
It’s interesting to see the level of complexity and the solutions being devised for the making of a bridge. I talked about simple and complex structures, and bridges being designed with more emphasis upon aesthetics(looking pretty), as opposed to to a purely mechanical solution for spanning a gap.
Below are some finished bridges.
The above pics are finished student bridges. Some were painted and some solutions to building a bridges were more mechanical and straight forward in nature. Some were more concerned with the overall look and aesthetic of the bridge. This is pretty much like the real world.
I wonder how many students will look at bridges a little more closely after this project?