Seventh graders recently took on the roles of engineers to build and test their own bridges as part of an assignment in teacher Skyler Mosenthal’s Intro to Engineering class.
The students were challenged to use index cards to create a bridge that spans a distance of 12 inches between a stack of books, stand at a height of at least 10 inches and support a 3.3-ounce Lego car. With a hypothetical budget of $1,300, with index cards at $75 and 1-inch pieces of masking tape at $50, the students had to be efficient with their designs and building materials.
“The car had to begin crossing, stop for 10 seconds in the middle of the bridge, then make it safely to the other side,” Mosenthal said. “Many bridges stood up to the test, some did not; all engineers succeeded in thoughtfully articulating what worked, what did not work, and why when concept-defending their designs.”
The students will continue to solidify their knowledge with the next project – a parachute challenge. They will repeat the process of design, finance, build and concept-defend to flight test their parachutes from the school’s library balcony.