Bridge Design and Construction

  General Information
Lead Teacher(s): Doug Mills
(dmills@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
Donna Budgell
(dbudgell@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
School: St. Anthony Elementary
Box 399
St.Anthony, NF
A0K 4S0
Tel: (709) 454-8324
Fax: (709) 454-0003
Grade Level: 4
Number of Students: 47
Project Start and Finish Dates: April to May1999
Project's URL:
   Project Overview

A major focus of the Grade Four science curriculum , Innovations in Science, is on the nature of and interaction of non-living things. Also, opportunities are available to explore the application of science, especially ways in which technology utilizes and integrates information from other areas.

To develop awareness and understanding of how humans design and build structures which are able to withstand the forces of nature, students will need to access information that is current, complete and accurate. Also, students will need to have the opportunity to communicate with professionals who are involved in creating these structures.

It is proposed through this project that Grade Four students will learn to use the Internet as one of the chief sources of obtaining the required information.

   Curriculum Connections

Specifically, through this project, Grade Four students will locate and utilize information which will provide them with a close look at the way bridges are built and the materials from which they are made by focusing on the following areas:

  • Identify problems associated with building bridges
  • Value of blue-prints
  • How weather effects building materials
  • Different bridges and their uses
  • Identify various support designs and load each can carry
  • Relationship between design and beam and its strength
  • Three main bridge types
  • Recognize ratios of ingredients needed to make strong concrete
  • Identify best materials of building bridges

   Resource Connections

The Stem-Net Stellar Schools Program is essential to completing this project as described. It is only through this process that a class of students will be able to simultaneously access the Internet under direct teacher supervision.

   Evaluation

    This project will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Students will acquire a body of knowledge relating to bridge design and materials which will lead to good decision making during model bridge building.
  • Students will gain experience and confidence in using the Internet to access and select appropriate information relating to bridge construction.
  • Students will begin to view the use of technology as an essential tool for communicating and developing problem solving strategies.
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