In Zechariah class, Year 5 students were assuming the roles of Civil Engineers. Our job was to design and build a bridge using everyday materials that would be able to bear the weight of a book.
Students worked in pairs and were given a huge pile of drinking straws, some sellotape, two piles of books (to create a bridge support) and another book as a weight to test. Initially, some students predicted that the bridge would not be able to function, as the straws were way too bendy to support any weight. Applying more straws only meant the straws rolled off the bridge support when the book was placed onto it. Many teams started to lay many straws next to each other, making a raft-like shape using sellotape. This strengthened the structure dramatically, and did indeed hold the weight of the book when it was placed on top.
Not only did we learn a lot about the work of a Civil Engineer during this lesson, but we also had a lot of fun! 🙂