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This 21st Century Math Project is an awesome opportunity to integrate subjects in an Geometry classroom. Hands-on STEM based learning for hands-on student. Along using basic algebra, measurement and geometry skills, students will engage in an engineering design process just like the pros.
In this 12 page document you will be given a mapping to the Content Standards, an outline for how to implement the project, handout resources for students to use in collecting data and an optional follow-up inquiry.
Of course I did not invent the idea of the Toothpick Bridge, but I have extended it into my Geometry classroom.
-- In "Bridge Building" students will analyze geometric designs of four common bridge types. They must label all of the angles using what they know about parallel lines, transversals and triangles. Most of the bridges have symmetry. Students can assume each similar section is congruent to each other.
-- In "Contest Scoring", students will analyze the data of a hypothetical toothpick bridge contest to determine the winner.
-- and finally in "Toothpick Bridge" students with research, design, build and test their own bridges in a class-wide competition. Who can build the strongest bridge? To conclude, students can present their results and reflections of their design project.
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