Time Frame: 1 Class Period
students are introduced to the Design Brief for the unit. They do an Internet
search to find out about Galloping Gertie and what caused the bridge to
- The students will read and discuss a design
- The students will use a search engine (askjeeves.com)
to find information.
- The students will identify and list events
that caused the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to collapse.
|TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge
- Science 112.3.2(B) Collect information
by observing and measuring.
- Science 112.3.2(C) Analyze and interpret
information to construct reasonable explanations from direct and indirect
- Science 112.3.2(D) Communicate valid conclusions.
- Science 112.3.4(A) Collect and analyze
information using tools including calculators, microscopes, cameras,
safety goggles, sound recorders, clocks, computers, thermometers, hand
lenses, meter sticks, rulers, balances, magnets, and compasses.
- Explorer's Notebook, page
- Chart paper
- Duplicate a copy of the Explorer's Notebook
for each student.
- Write the Design Brief on a piece of chart
paper. Entitle the chart No Galloping Gerties Allowed. Design and
construct a bridge to span a 30 cm gap and hold as many golf balls as
possible. You may only use masking tape, artstraws, yarn and poster
board in constructing your bridge. You may have an unlimited amount
of glue. You will have a limited amount of "money" to spend
on the other materials for your bridge.
- Turn on the computers and start Netscape
or Internet Explorer.
- Review the classroom rules with the students:
Be careful; Take care of property and equipment; and Stay on Task. Review
the consequences for breaking the rules with the class: First offense-verbal
warning; Second offense-sign book, sit out remainder of class period;
Third offense-sign book, sit out remainder of class period, call parent;
Fourth offense-sign book, sit out remainder of class period, call parent,
sit out remainder of the unit in another classroom.
- Read over and discuss the design brief
with the students. Ask, If I gave you the materials for your bridge
right now, do you think you could build it? Why or why not? Before we
begin building our bridge, we are going to investigate how to make our
bridges stronger and more stable.
- Point out the title of the unit, No Galloping
Gerties Allowed. Say, When I read the title of the chart, I saw
a lot of puzzled looks. I don't want any Galloping Gerties in this class.
Do you know what Galloping Gertie is? We could get an encyclopedia and
look it up, but we are going to use technology to make our task easier.
We are going to go on the Internet and use a search engine to help us.
- Pair students up and let them sit at the
computers. Remind them that if the screen saver comes on, they are to
move the mouse slightly. Have the students look at the district homepage.
Point out the title bar at the top of the page. Call on a volunteer
to read the title of the web page. Say, Below the title bar is
the menu bar. You should see some words on the menu bar. Those words
are File, Edit, View, Go, Communicator, and Help. (The menu bar may
have different words, depending on what browser and version of browser
being used.) Briefly discuss what these words mean.
- Say, Look right below the menu bar.
There is a bar with some buttons on it. The first button says Back and
has a green picture on it. Does everyone see this button? We use this
button when we want to go back to a page we've already looked at. There
is also a picture of a house with the word Home on this row. If you
click the Home button, it will bring you back to the district home page
where we are right now. Right below the Back button, there is a button
labeled Bookmark. When have you used a bookmark? (The students
will probably say when they were reading a book.) Why do you use
a bookmark? A bookmark on the browser is just like a bookmark in a book.
It is used to save your place. When you bookmark a page, you can come
back to it at another time. Next to the bookmark button is a button
that says Location. The white box following the Location Button is the
web site or address for this page. Have someone read the address.
We will be typing the address for our search engine in this box.
- If necessary, review using the mouse or
the keyboard to scroll up and down.
- Have them follow the directions on page
1 of the Explorer's Notebook. Discuss the answers to the questions as
|Formative Assessment: Explorer's
Notebook, page 1
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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