This is a best-selling physics product for lots of reasons:
1) It is real physics with data and analysis
2) Inexpensive – about $.35 per group to complete
3) Easy to manage and store between classes
4) Student designed and cooperative learning
5) The tested final product can still be displayed (it isn’t destroyed!)
6) Includes student and group self-assessment
7) The testing equipment costs less than $10 and can be used for years.
8) Use of an online game to start student understanding
9) It’s fun! It’s one of my honors level and AP Physics classes favorite projects and it’s been successful in a much lower level class with students with varied issues.
Students work in groups of 3 to construct a bridge to span a 35 cm “canyon” using only plastic soda straws and hot glue. The requirement of a maximum finished mass of less than 55 g assures reasonable use of hot glue and different colored straws for your groups ensures fair play.
The project takes 5-9 hours of class time depending on whether you have students play the game in class, and whether you use the pre-project activities. The project is easy to vary to fit your time constraints. This is perfect to use the week before a holiday because you can do it at any point in your curriculum.
• Teacher instruction and management info
• Centimeter grid paper for easier bridge plans
• Photos of completed projects
• Power point to introduce the project
• Daily assessments
Keywords: STEM, GTE, Gifted and Talented, Physics, Engineering, Design, Bridge, Truss, Challenge, Project