One of the first projects our new 9th grade students do is the bridge project. Each student pairs up with someone from a different advisory and uses up to 100 popsicle sticks and 2 sticks of balsa wood to build a bridge. On the way, mind they take a walking tour to visit different bridges across the Schuykill and draw a life-size sketch showing their bridge from the front, side, and top. At the end, every bridge is tested to see how much weight it can hold before breaking. Over the past three years, the winning bridges have consistently held about 175 lbs.
Three Sketches of your bridge design
A Bridge made of balsa wood, popsicle sticks, and wood glue
A Video in which you reflect on your design process and explain the efficiency score of your bridge
Students exploring bridges
Students trying out bridge shapes with paper and pennies
Students constructing their bridges out of popsicle sticks