Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
The World’s Longest Beam Bridge Over Water
This week our first graders began their study of bridges in earnest. We began by giving the children some challenges to build a variety of bridge structures with limited materials. One challenge was to see who could make the longest bridge. After some reflecting, the children realized they could make longer bridges by sharing their materials. The purpose of this initial activity was for them to begin to work together toward a common goal.
We then went outside to observe the bridge on Maple Street. We noticed that this bridge is a simple bridge, much like the bridges we built in class. Next week we will delve into beam bridges. Beam bridges employ the plainest forms of construction using one (sometimes more) horizontal beams to span the area between abutments. Beam bridges are the oldest bridges known to humans.
Next week’s challenge will be to create a new beam bridge that will allow cars to get from one side of a river to the other. In this activity, children will be use a variety of blocks to construct a sturdy bridge. Upcoming challenges will include building a truss bridge (which we will get an opportunity to visit), an arch bridge, and a suspension bridge. We will learn about different engineering principles that go into each design.
Last week, we sent our new class pet Ryan home with a classmate. Ryan was well loved during this time and the class enjoyed hearing about all of Ryan’s adventures. We can’t wait to hear about what he gets up to next.