Bridge Project


This lesson began with the desire to create a project based learning activity.

The general game plan is located here on google slides. 

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.

The research looked like the above.  Students with Chromebooks researching on the net and composing a brief, illustrated report on google docs.

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.


The above shots are pretty self explanatory, students assembling and posing with their creations.


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.

This what the process looks like, pretty chaotic, messy, and noisy.  Glue being squeezed, wood being cuts, and details about bridge construction being discussed and argued about.


In the pics above you can see the students assembling the truss sides.

Most of the group work went pretty well and there were certainly more smiles than frowns.



In the pics above you can see the bridge as separate trusses, the roadbed, and the final bridge, just about fully assembled.


Below are some finished bridges.

The head gear was being worn for a reading activity.  The bridge looks to have quite a bit of extra, non essential construction at the top, just to make it look nice.

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?


Mixed Gifs

The following animations/gifs are a mixed bag of some rockets, explosions, moving cars, fire, and some walking sprites from my 7th grade graphic arts class.  It’s nice to see what they’ve come up with!

This page is still in edit, I’ll post names & details as soon as I can.




Dennis W did a nice blinking bomb explosion.

Noah S. and his exploding volcano is above.

Kyndall did a great explosion!

Micah did a nice volcano above.

I think this is Ms. Kaylee’s explosion.


I believe the one above is made by Dallas.

The “boom” at the end cracks me up, I believe it’s Ms. Samantha S.

Colby K did a good moving/walking sprite here.

Alyson B did one of my favorites, a  walking hamburger!

Here’s a quick car by Noah S.

Micah C. did a nice job here with a Sponge Bob image.

Dillion, I believe did this one.


Ms. Alyson B. did nice rocket here.

Micah did pretty well here on his rising rocket.

Logan H. did a nice rising rocket here.



I believe the rocket above was done by Ms. Sam S.  I like the orderly progression of stripes for the fire, nice decorative touch.


micah 400 rocket

A great first attempt at a rocket gif by Micah C.

Castle Gifs

The castle gifs pictured below are done using Piskel. An online pixel and gif creating program.

A nice build by Noah S.

Anthony did a nice castle with moving clouds.

Ms. Kaylee B did the castle, ground, sky, and moving clouds pretty well here!

Noah S. did a great job on his castle build here.

Ms. Abby R did the red castle above.  I need to convince her to do some blue sky.

Colin G. did a nice looking castle here.

I believe the castle above was done by Kyndall F.

I like the castle Micah C did here.

Dennis W. did a nice castle build above.

I believe the castle above is done by talented Colby K.

The castle above was done by Nolan F. I like the below ground section, no one else has done that yet.

Dallas S. did a good animated castle above.  I like the multi colored approach.

A nice castle with moving clouds done by Ms. Allison B.


A castle build with moving clouds done by a mystery artist with the initials of A. B.

A great castle Gif with moving clouds done by Ms. Tessa R.

I  made this one(Mr. Tayse).  I made a few mistakes, can you tell me what they are?  I’m not keen on my waving flag. It doesn’t work all that well.  I need to go back and figure that out.  The clouds are a bit jerky too.  I’m still learning how to use the Piskel drawing program too!