This bundled lesson plan is for an 3-8 period project to design and build a plastic soda straw bridge. Students learn about forces and bridge components, test material strengths, design and test simulated bridges, and then construct a plastic straw bridge with a limited amount of materials.
I have included the version that I use with pre-AP physics. They do not do the preliminary activities due to time constraints. They have 3 class periods to design and construct the bridge. We test it on the 4th day. The file includes information on how to test the bridge with nothing more complicated than an empty paint bucket and a bag of construction sand.
My students LOVE this project. Yours will too!
Keywords: physics, project, force, compression, tension, shear, torsion, mass, stress, beam, truss, span, pressure, strength, length, physics, design, challenge, physics, engineering, gifted, talented, GTE, GATE, STEM
Plastic Straw Bridge Challenge is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License