Student voices: Students Build Bridges and Community

by Mohamede Diallo

During the first quarter, ninth grade students at the Workshop School built bridges out of popsicle sticks and balsa wood. The project was designed for students to understand how to work hands-on in groups and to learn some basics of engineering and design.

Over 75 ninth grade students participated in the project. The students competed to see whose bridge could hold the most weight.

Mr. Tobias, a counselor at The Workshop School, said the project was meant “to help students learn how to work together.” Students were required to work in groups, from 2-3 students per group.

Similarly, Nate Carr, a ninth grade student, thinks the project was meant to help students get to know each other and “to see how everybody’s mindset is.”

Elijah Carter, a freshman, thought that the project was a great way to introduce students to the kind of project-based learning that the Workshop School is known for. “It’s the first step to build something at The Workshop School,” said Elijah.

Youssouf Maiga, another freshman, agreed, saying the project was important “to help students learn hands on.”

Daniel Watson, another freshman, said he learned about math and efficiency scores by doing the project. An efficiency score is calculated by dividing the load that the bridge is able to hold by the mass of the bridge itself. A bridge built by Jamell Williams and Miracle Townes held the most weight – 112 pounds. But the bridge that had the best efficiency score was built by Derrick Stevens and Marquis Woods.

Because of the Bridge Project students learned about working in groups, working hands on, and math and efficiency.