Tacoma Narrows Bridge Lesson Plans
Math and Science
The Bridge Challenge
There are many different types of bridges, each with advantages
and disadvantages depending on their intended use, size and height
requirements. This lesson is designed to examine those difference
through the use of an interactive web site.
The students will be introduced to the different
type of bridges using a virtual reality bridge builder on the internet.
At the end of this lesson students will be able to understand:
- The difference between four different types of bridges; beam,
arch, cable-stayed, and suspension.
- The factors that relate to building a bridge.
Time: One or two class periods
- Copies of THE BRIDGE CHALLENGE Activity Sheet
- Access to computers connected to the internet
1. Have the students sketch a picture of a bridge.
(Allow 3-5 minutes)
2. Discuss with students…
- What are some characteristics of the bridge you drew?
- What shapes did you use in your bridge?
- What are some materials that engineers use to make bridges?
- Name some bridges in our area? Which one is the longest? Do
you know why it's the longest?
- If you were an engineer or bridge builder, what are some challenges
you might face?
3. Explain to the students that today
they will act as a bridge building engineer and that they are going
to face some challenges as they learn about different types of bridges.
4. Go over the activity instructions with the
- What are the different types of bridges you built today?
- What were the materials used to build these bridges?
- Why were these materials chosen?
- What were some challenges you faced as an engineer as you were
constructing the bridges?