In teams, students will act as civil engineers and build a segmental bridge model. Instead of building it out of concrete, which is messy and needs a few weeks to harden, they will use Styrofoam. Styrofoam is a weaker material than concrete, so instead of having to use special steel cables, a small diameter bungee cord will do.
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- Build a model segmental bridge and test the model to understand some behavior attributes of segmental bridges such as deflection.
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
|NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea||Student Action|
|ETS.HS.1C.a Criteria may need to be broken down into simpler ones that can be approached systematically, and decisions about the priority of certain criteria over others (trade-offs) may be needed.||Students systematically test and analyze the success of various cord tensions and placement of load as they build segmental bridge models.|
Common Core Standards
|Common Core Standard||Student Action|
|8.F.B.5 Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.||Students create and analyze a graph displaying the results from the segmental bridge project.|
Expected Lesson Duration
Lesson 1 - Introduction: 30 - 60 minutes
Lesson 2 - Projects: 150 - 180 minutes
Lesson 3 - Quiz: 30 - 60 minutes