Thursday, January 30, 2014

Civil Engineering students participate in Benton Elementary Bridge Project

Zach Smith, Zaiver Braden and Tyler Kramer, students from Brad Mann's Civil Engineering class, put their skill and expertise to use by testing the "Popsicle stick" Bridges created by Benton Elementary 3rd grade students. The assignment was to design a bridge using a maximum of 75 popsicle sticks. The bridges were subjected to a strength test to determine how much weight each could support before breaking. The bridges were also weighed and an efficiency ratio was calculated.  Benton Elementary is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school and this assignment exemplifies how project-based learning captures the interest of the students as demonstrated by the students cheering and chanting  as each bridge was tested. Bridge designs were as varied as the students who created them. In the end, 11 out of 64 bridges did not break under the weight of 96 pounds of wet sand. 

The bridge did not break

Students added wet sand into a bucket until the bridge broke. In this case, the bridge survived the 96 pounds of wet sand added to the bucket.

This bridge was created by a Kindergartner

This bridge did not break

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