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Challenge your students with a STEM / STEAM toothpick bridge in this gamified lesson! In the game story, students must construct a bridge to carry an army across a rift valley. Student groups are tasked with designing and constructing a toothpick bridge prototype to determine which design has the best efficiency. This is determined by comparing their bridge's mass with the amount of weight it can hold without breaking!
This project is a great introduction to the engineering design process and allows students to examine why this particular assignment, as structured, is not a good example of experimental design. In the gamified setting, students can use game gold or perhaps points on this assignment to buy a "hot glue" license or even additional toothpicks. The entire project takes between 8-9 class periods that are an hour long between introduction, building, testing, and reflection!
Students will be able to demonstrate skills related to these learning targets:
- I can identify the independent variable, the dependent variable, and constant variables in an experiment.
-I can explain the purpose of an experimental group and a control group.
-I can follow the engineering design process.
Within this download you will get a suggested lesson plan, the student lab handout, and examples of past bridge designs as well as examples of a weight testing device!
Copyright © 2019 Daniel Hellmund, Hellmund Science
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Permission to copy for classroom use only.
Electronic distribution limited to classroom use only.
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Hellmund Science offers a variety of gamified science labs, notes, projects and games with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Project-Based Learning in mind. Gamification allows for Positive Behavioral Intervention Support as well as differentiation. Using this format, students learn to work together and choose the path of their liking to learn various learning targets. Your students will play to learn!