STEM Bridges in Year 8 DT
Year 8 students in design were tasked with a competition over two lessons this month. Their task was to design and build the strongest bridge that they could using only 20 straws and 35cm of masking tape. In pairs, they had to draw on research gained from a homework task in design and cross curricular links to the theory on forces delivered in science lessons. In this AQA based scheme of learning students have had to link knowledge from across the disciplines of Science, Technology. Engineering and Maths (STEM) to triumph and design a working structure. They were to consider the strongest shape known and commonly used in bridge building - the triangle, and the impact of forces such as: tension, torsion, compression and bending.
I hope the students had as much fun building them as we did when we tested them out! Bridges were put through rigorous whole class testing. Each bridge was subjected to testing on whether two cars could pass over it, how aesthetically pleasing it was to people and ultimately how much weight could be applied before it collapsed! Students worked collaboratively and took great pride in their constructions.