Engineering Designing/STEM Based Project
To start, you may want to introduce students to Bridge Building which falls under Civil Engineering with the video given below.
Part1 – Students learn about different types of bridges and Design one of their own.
Tell the students that they are going to watch a story unfold about how and why the concept of bridges began with the video
After a short discussion, take them through the PPT to understand the science and mathematics involved in bridge building.
Now tell them that today they all are architects and design engineers and have to help a forlorn village which lacks convenient connectivity with the closest habitation as they need to cross the mountain to reach the nearest town situated on the neighbouring mountain. Initiate a discussion to understand the kind of difficulties the villagers must be facing.
- Let the students sit in the made teams and discuss the problem, to brainstorm ideas, make sketches, and choose a final design for their bridges. Also ask them to choose a name for their design team. (Encourage students to build a truss bridge as we are dealing with triangles). If need arises and time permits, allow each group one class period to research bridge engineering. They should find out the basic principles of the truss bridge.
- Provide them time to work on their design keeping the strength, length etc in mind. Guide them to work backwards on how much material they have, the constraints, so to be able to make the most of the little given!
- Before they begin Bring back the class as a whole group and set the following rules:
- For the two ends of the span, students will use the given base with the blocks placed 25 centimetres apart. No part of the bridge may touch anything between the two ends of the span.
- The only materials students may use for the bridge itself are 20 drinking straws/ ice cream sticks. The straws may be shortened, bent, or cut
- Their bridges will be judged on their capability to hold weight of the cup full of coins. The endurance of each team’s bridge will be tested and if they fail they need to redesign it.
- If the students need help at any point, let them refer to the handbook given to them.
- Give each student a workbook to note their engineering process in it.
Part – 2 -Constructing the Bridge
- Instruct and encourage each team to distribute their workload evenly among the members for timely completion of the project.
- The students and teams who need assistance can be guided with useful inputs which are available to the teacher.
- While constructing the bridge they need o keep in mind the width of the bridge and what kind of vehicles they expect the bridge to facilitate. (Teacher can keep kindling their imagination by asking questions)
Part – 3 –Bridge testing and redesigning
- Provide students time to make a presentation of their models with an interesting name and details.
- Again Orient students on the timeline and the roles for each student.
- Have students test their bridges by seeing how many coins they will hold. Students may modify their bridges, at this point, and then see if they will hold more coins.
- Have groups present their bridges and testing results to the class. Set a minimum bar for all bridges, if they are unable to hold the set number of coins, ask the team to rethink and redesign or make required alterations to make their bridges stronger
- A question answer round is opened to the student which is led by the teacher
- Let students to speculate about why some bridges were more or less successful than others.
- What factors went into the strength or weakness of each bridge?
- What flaws were inherent in the building materials? How were those flaws overcome?
- To conclude ask the students to fill the summative questions in the workbook
Culminate the activity by asking students to reflect on the entire design process. Have students fill in the L column of the K-W-H-L