Make It Strong
Time Frame: 1 Class Period
The students investigate strengthening beam bridges by changing the shape
of the material used for the bridge.
- The students will change the shape of paper
- The students will discover which shape
of folded paper supports the most weight.
- The students will infer how to change materials
to strengthen a bridge.
|TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge
- Science 112.3.1(A) Demonstrate safe practices
during field and laboratory investigations.
- Science 112.3.1(B) Make wise choices in
the use and conservation of resources and the disposal or recycling
- Science 112.3.2(A) Plan and implement descriptive
investigations including asking well-defined questions, formulating
testable hypotheses, selecting and using equipment and technology.
- 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 112.3.2(E) Construct simple graphs,
tables, maps, and charts to organize, examine and evaluate information.
- Science 112.3.3(C) Represent the natural
world using models and identify their limitations.
- Science 112.3.4(B) Demonstrate that repeated
investigations may increase the reliability of results.
- Card stock
- Blocks (2 of the same size for each group)
- Explorer's Notebook, page
- Cut some card stock into 2 by 11 inch strips.
Cut 8 strips for each group of students.
- Cut other card stock into ½ by
11 inch strips, 1 by 11 inch strips, 1 ½ by 11 inch strips, 2
by 11 inch strips, and 2 ½ by 11 inch strips. Each group needs
1 of each width strip.
- Divide the class into groups of four. Give
each group a Record Sheet, 8 strips of card stock, and about 100-200
pennies or other small weights. Say, We are going to be doing
an investigation to learn more about beam bridges. You are going to
make a simple beam bridge by laying a single strip of card stock across
a gap made by two science books. Make sure that the books are exactly
8 inches apart. When you do this controlled experiment, you are measuring
how strong each beam is.
- Have the students lay one strip across
the books. Tell them to put pennies on the center of the bridge as a
load. They are to keep adding pennies in the center until the bridge
collapses. Ask, How many pennies (weights) did it take to make
the bridge collapse? Direct the students to record the number
of pennies it took to collapse the bridge on the record sheet. Say,
For the rest of the investigation, you are going to try to strengthen
the bridge by using the pieces of card stock folded in different ways.
Make sure that the gap between the books is always exactly 8 inches.
Monitor the students as they perform the investigation and record their
results on their recording sheets.
- Discuss the results of the investigation.
Have students infer why some designs held more than others.
- Give each group the different width strips
of card stock. Have them perform the investigation with the various
widths of card stock. (They do not fold the strips-they use them as
they are.) Tell them to record the results on their record sheet. Discuss
|Formative Assessment: Explorer's
Notebook, page 4/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