The popularity of bridge building as a school activity has fluctuated over the years, once a right of passage for 8th graders and then avoided. Recent years have seen a resurgence for some great reasons:
- Problem-solving skills: Bridge building requires you to identify and solve problems, such as how to make a bridge strong enough to support a certain weight or how to make a bridge that is aesthetically pleasing.
- Critical thinking skills: Bridge building requires you to think critically about the different factors that affect the design and construction of a bridge, such as the materials used, the forces acting on the bridge, and the environment in which the bridge will be built.
- Teamwork skills: Bridge building is a team sport, and you will need to work effectively with others to design, build, and test a bridge.
- Communication skills: Bridge building requires you to communicate effectively with others, both verbally and in writing. You will need to be able to explain your ideas to others, listen to their feedback, and work together to solve problems.
- Creativity: Bridge building requires you to be creative and come up with new ideas. You will need to be able to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to problems.
If you’re having a bridge building lesson at your school, here are great links to support that:
Bridge Building (hands-on)
- Bridge Constructor (app)
- Bridge Designer by SourceForge
- Open Bridge Modeler (software download)
- Structural Bridge Design by Autodesk (free)
Basics (resources, info)
- Bridge basics
- Bridge building contest
- Building Bridges
- How to Build a Bridge (an infographic and more)
- Model bridge Design
- World’s Strangest Bridges!!
- DiscoverE Bridge Building Links
- Mississippi Department of Transportation Bridge Building Competition
- National Society of Professional Engineers
–images from Deposit Photo
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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.