Lesson 3

To Get to the Other Side: Designing Bridges

Bridging Understanding / Grade 2 / Derry, NH

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - To Get to the Other Side: Designing Bridges, L3

Students perform a controlled test of three types of bridges to see how much weight the bridges can support.

Reflection Questions

Why do you think Steve chose the blueprints used to build the school with his students?

Steve used the school blueprints as a way to reinforce important points and push his students thinking about the work of civil engineers.

  • Referring to the blueprints as “a set of directions that builders use to build the school” highlights the extensive planning that engineers do. (1:06)
  • Reading the names of the different types of engineers that worked on the project reinforces that idea that engineers work together to solve problems. (1:37)
  • By pointing out the walls of the building that support the weight of the school, Steve is hoping his students will make connections to the abutments that support bridges. (1:48)

During this engineering lesson, where do you see students applying their knowledge of science and math?

Through the testing of bridges and analysis of results, students practiced important computational skills and reviewed scientific procedure.

  • By comparing the number of weights each bridge design holds, individual groups of students use mathematical thinking to rank their bridges in terms of strength. (6:13)
  • Steve has groups review and reconcile differences in data by sharing strength test results from all the groups, and then having groups “talk in their houses” to further analyze findings. (7:56)
  • The variation in results prompts students to review their testing procedure and subsequently throw out some of the data, “because it’s not treated equally.” (9:34)