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DESIGNING AND BUILDING YOUR BRIDGE This is the culminating project of the Art of Bridge Construction unit The creation of a scaled bridge model deepens students' understanding of how bridges work while developing their skills in measuring, ratio and proportion and manipulating fractions. LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students will: Concepts: - Understand types of bridges and how they work - Identify site conditions and span lengths for which a bridge type is appropriate - Create a scaled model of a bridge of their own design Scientific Method and Tools: - Assess a current bridge design and identify any problems - Develop a new design to alleviate current problems Collaboration Skills: - Divide tasks and cooperate to meet the goals of the group - Make joint decisions on bridge selection and improvement - Share understandings and conclusions ASSESSMENT The student: - Explains the various bridge types and the spans for which they are suited - States a problem with a current bridge design and poses a solution - Creates an accurate, scaled model of a new design - Prepares a well written statement describing the new design and defending proposed solution KEY CONCEPTS 1. The major structural bridge types are beam/girder, arch, cable-stayed and suspension. Each structural type is suited to certain site conditions and spans. Swing, lift and drawbridges are variations of the basic beam bridge. 2. An efficient bridge design is one that meets the current and projected needs of a community within the constraints of the site. VOCABULARY Arch Bridge, Beam Bridge, Bird's-eye view, Cable-stayed bridge, Conceptual drawing, Elevation, Suspension Bridge REFERENCES Salvadori, Mario. The Art of Construction. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, Inc., 1990. Page 1 of 5

DESIGNING AND BUILDING YOUR BRIDGE Salvadori, Mario and Michael Tempel. Architecture and Engineering ­ An Illustrated Teacher's Manual on Why Buildings Stand Up. The New York Academy of Science, 1983. Bennet, David. The Creation of Bridges: From Vision to Reality ­ The Ultimate Challenge of Architecture, Design, and Distance. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1999. Dupre, Judith. Bridges: A History of the World's Most Famous and Important Spans... New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 1997. Bridge Building: Art and Science: http://www.brantacan.co.uk/bridges.htm Build a Bridge at this site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bridge/build.html Find out how bridges work at: http://www.howstuffworks.com/bridge.htm MOTIVATION A suggested demonstration/explanation for the class: "How many types of bridges can you name? (beam, arch, suspension, cable-stayed) Why do you think so many different styles evolved? Can you figure out which style would be more suitable for a wide river crossing than for a highway overpass? Research the various bridge types to determine the conditions under which they are most suitable. (Students may visit www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bridge/build.html and review the four types of bridges.) Look at the Nova Online SuperBridge unit and play the Build a Bridge game. Can you match the given sites and span conditions to the appropriate bridge types? From what you have learned about bridges, the many types and how each works, can you think of a bridge in your community that you would improve? What would you do to change this bridge? THE CHALLENGE "The time has come to put everything you have learned to use. You are now an expert bridge engineer and your challenge is to redesign an existing bridge. Research a bridge that you feel requires improvement or change. Learn as much as you can about its history and identify problems with its current design. Use what you know about bridges to design a new and improved, efficient and durable bridge. Create scaled drawings and a model of your bridge. Write a report describing the original bridge and your new design. Explain how your bridge achieves increased efficiency and why it will stand the test of time!" PROCEDURE Time frame of lesson: a minimum of 15 forty-five minute periods MATERIALS NEEDED: Worksheets, books, Internet access, 2 ft by 4 ft wooden bases for each group Model building materials: balsa or ply wood of various widths, depths, etc., plastic rods of varying radii, plastic sheets (plastic can be difficult to cut), cutting tools (drills, knives, etc), heavyweight chipboard, foamcore, string or twine, glue, tape, scissors, rulers, etc. Also have students bring in building materials of their own choosing. A local lumberyard Page 2 of 5

DESIGNING AND BUILDING YOUR BRIDGE can be a good source of scrap wood. Wood can be soaked to create curved shapes. Students work in groups of two. Introduce the activity through the Motivation and present the Challenge. Provide each group with worksheets. Students may research bridges from around the world using books and/or the Internet. Students follow these steps: 1. Prepare a written statement describing your new bridge design. This statement should include: 1.1. A site description with details about the physical setting and the current bridge. 1.2. Additional facts about the current site and bridge (length of the span, number of car lanes, traffic volume, pedestrian access, other uses) 1.3. A description of your new bridge using the terminology you have learned. 2. Make a conceptual drawing of your bridge (not necessarily to scale or a detailed silhouette, but simply try to capture the main design elements and how your bridge will look from a distance). 3. Determine the actual dimensions of your bridge. Then scale it down to fit on a 2 foot by 4 foot wooden base, which will serve as your site. 4. Make two detailed scale drawings of the new bridge on graph paper. Label the main dimensions. 4.1. Side view (preferably at a slight angle) 4.2. Birds-eye view. 5. BUILD YOUR BRIDGE!! Have students present their bridges to a large audience in the school or in the community. Discuss the criteria used to select their bridges, the improvement needed and their proposed solutions. Are the types of bridges selected appropriate for the span and crossing conditions? How will the new bridges stand the test of time? Do the redesigns factor in projected increases in traffic or changes in conditions?

VARIATIONS & FOLLOW-UP You will be given a 300 million-dollar letter of credit and will be required to "purchase" all of the materials you use. Bring your project in on budget. Keep track of your expenses on a balance sheet and include your budget report in your final presentation. Gather information on bridges that have been redesigned or renovated. How is your suggested redesign similar? How is it different?

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DESIGNING AND BUILDING YOUR BRIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL STANDARDS National Standards: New Standards - National Center on Education and the Economy Physical Science - S1a Properties of matter - S1b Motions and forces Scientific Thinking - S5a Frames questions to distinguish cause and effect - S5b Uses concepts from Science Standards 1 to 4 to explain observations - S5d Proposes, recognizes, analyzes, considers, and critiques alternative explanations - S5f Works individually and in teams to collect and share information and ideas Scientific Communication - S7a Represents data and results - S7b Argues from evidence, such as data produced through his or her own experimentation or by others - S7d Explains a scientific concept - S7e Communicates using data Scientific Investigation - S8a Controlled experiment Geometry and Measurement Concepts - M2a Is familiar with assorted two-and three- dimensional objects - M2k Models situations geometrically to formulate and solve problems Statistics and Probability Concepts - M4a Collects, organizes and displays data - M4b Analyzes data - M4d Makes conclusions and recommendations based on data analysis Mathematical Skills and Tools - M6a Computes accurately with arithmetic operations on rational numbers - M6d Measures length, area and volume correctly - M6f Uses equations, formulas, and simple algebraic notation appropriately - M6h Uses recall, mental computations, pencil and paper, measuring devices, calculators, and advise from peers, as appropriate, to achieve solutions Speaking, Listening and Viewing - E3b Participates in group meetings Conventions, Grammar and Usage of the English Language - E4a Demonstrates an understanding of the rules of the English Language in written and oral work New York State Standards: The University of the State of New York ­ The State Education Department

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DESIGNING AND BUILDING YOUR BRIDGE Math, Science and Technology 1. Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions. 3. Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in realworld settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, and trigonometry. 4. Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science. 5. Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs. 6. Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning. 7. Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions. English Language Arts 1. Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding. HANDOUTS See attached

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Date

Name(s)

Building Your Bridge

You are now an expert bridge engineer and your challenge is to redesign an existing bridge. Research a bridge that you feel requires improvement or change. Learn as much as you can about its history and identify problems with its current design. Use what you know about bridges to design a new and improved, efficient and durable bridge. Create scaled drawings and a model of your bridge. Write a report describing the original bridge and your new design. Explain how your bridge achieves increased efficiency and why it will stand the test of time! Follow these steps: 1. Prepare a written statement describing your new bridge design. This statement should include: 1.1. A site description with details about the physical setting and the current bridge. 1.2. Additional facts about the current site and bridge (length of the span, number of car lanes, traffic volume, pedestrian access, other uses) 1.3. A description of your new bridge using the terminology you have learned. 2. Make a conceptual drawing of your bridge (not necessarily to scale or a detailed silhouette, but simply try to capture the main design elements and how your bridge will look from a distance). 3. Determine the actual dimensions of your bridge. Then scale it down to fit on a 2 foot by 4 foot wooden base, which will serve as your site. 4. Make two detailed scale drawings of the new bridge on graph paper. Label the main dimensions. 4.1. Side view (preferably at a slight angle) 4.2. Birds-eye view. 5. BUILD YOUR BRIDGE!! 6. Be ready to present your bridge to the school on ___________.

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