We have been doing a lot of reading, simulating and building around the topic of bridges. We began by noticing what bridges have in common and listed our known uses/purposes for bridges. We've learned about beam bridges, tested how shape affects the strength of the deck and which shape makes the strongest pier. We learned that beam bridges are the most common and basic bridge type. Below are the beam bridges made from the K'Nex kits. Once their beam bridge was complete they were allowed to embellish and add their own creations hence the super long. This week we are focusing on the Truss bridge design and forces that act on a bridge. Thursday afternoon we have a group of engineering students from UT coming to present to us.
During our first period we spent time getting to know about each other’s interests and hopes for the class this year. I shared a presentation about myself and the students shared their "Pinterest" pages.
A big part of our time together will be teamwork and problem solving. We watched a few short video clips that displayed teamwork and noticed what made each team successful. We practiced teamwork with a yarn and hoop lifting exercise. It was obvious that the group was more successful when they communicated well, encouraged each other and worked together.
On the second day we practiced teamwork with STEAM challenges! Each grade level had a different task to "Help Harry". They worked in pairs or groups of 3. They were engaged, on task and productive. Several groups were not able to finish within one class period so this activity will carryover to Tuesday. (I'll add pictures of the 3rd grade groups during round 2 on Tuesday)