Designed to Perfection

Time Frame: 1 Class Period

Description: The students design a bridge to meet the criteria presented in the design brief. They then construct their bridge according to the design.

Educational Objectives:

  • The students will work together to design and build a bridge.
  • The students will exhibit safety procedures as they construct their bridge.

TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills):
  • Science 112.3.2(C) Analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct and indirect evidence.
  • Science 112.3.2(D) Communicate valid conclusions.
  • Science 112.3.3(A) Analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information.
  • Science 112.3.3(C) Represent the natural world using models and identify their limitations.

  • Explorer's Notebook, pages 5-7
  • Masking tape
  • Artstraws
  • Yarn
  • Poster Board
  • Glue
  • Pencils

Advanced Preparation:
Gather all of the materials in a central location.

  1. Have students read through and discuss the design brief on page 5 of the Explorer's Notebook. Discuss the materials that can be used. Point out the criteria for judging the bridge and the grading rubric for the project.
  2. Let students work in their groups to decide what their structure will look like. Have the group Designers draw the designs on page 6 of the Explorer's Notebook. Emphasize that they must get teacher approval of their drawing before beginning construction.
  3. Have the groups decide what materials they will need to get and how much those materials will cost. Point out that they are to spend $50 or less. If they spend more, they will lose points from their project rubric.
  4. If time permits, let the groups begin constructing their bridges.

Formative Assessment: Observation/Oral Discussion



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These pages were made through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI, RGK Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, Rice University, and HiPerSoft.

Copyright June 2002 by Shirley Willingham