Friday, May 8, 2009
Picking flowers, building bridges
6-7's spent much of the week in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) cooperative activity. They formed teams of three: civil engineer, materials engineer, environmental engineer. They researched bridges and then were charged to design and build a bridge in a particular location to withstand natural disaster: earthquake, hurricane, flood, etc. They had multi-million dollar budgets, with drinking straws, spaghetti, or paper as materials. Glue was $1,000,000 per tube.
West Point Bridge design - a free download - is an amazing simulation of bridge building. The blueprints went well. Frustration set in with slippery straws and brittle pasta, but ultimately, experience prevailed and the results were impressive and even elegant.
After team presentations on Friday afternoon, a cool treat in the spring sun was in order!