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STEAM ACADEMY

ENGINEERING UNIT
Lesson Synopsis
Students will explore the history of bridge building and the process of design. They will
learn about how engineering has impacted the types of bridges that have been created all
around the world and the challenges that have provoked bridge innovation.
Objectives
Students will:

Learn
Learn
Learn
Learn

about civil engineering


about engineering design
about construction and planning
about teamwork and working in groups

Learning Outcomes:

Develop and create bridges


Understand and utilize structural engineering to create bridges
Problem solve
Work in cooperative groups

Challenge:
Students will work in cooperative groups to create a landscape that includes a body of
water. They must create a bridge that will go from one side of the body of water to the
other with no more than 200 popsicle sticks. As a group, they must determine which type
of bridge would be the best for their landscape and must provide research-based evidence
during their presentations to support their claim. Their bridge will also have to hold the
average of the age of their groups weight. This challenge will help students learn how
bridges are designed to meet load, stress and visual challenges. The teams will evaluate
and assess their results and present them to their peers.
Standards:

National Science Education Standards Grades K-4


Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry
As a result of activities, all students should develop
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
Content Standard B: Physical Science
As a result of activities, all students should develop an understanding
Properties of objects and materials
Content Standard E: Science and Technology
As a result of activities, all students should develop
Abilities of technological design
Understanding about science and technology
Content Standard G: History and Nature of Science
As a result of activities, all students should develop understanding of
Science as a human endeavor
National Science Education Standards Grades 5-8
Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry
As a result of activities, all students should develop
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
Content Standard B: Physical Science
As a result of activities, all students should develop an understanding
Motions and forces
Content Standard E: Science and Technology
As a result of activities in Grades 5-8, all students should develop
Abilities of technological design
Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
As a result of activities, all students should develop understanding of
Risks and benefits
Understanding about science and technology
Science and technology in society
Content Standard G: History and Nature of Science
As a result of activities, all students should develop understanding of
History of Science
Next Generation Science Standards Grades 3-5
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of
balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Engineering Design
Students who demonstrate understanding can:

3-5-ETS 1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that
includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
3-5-ETS 1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based
on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
3-5-ETS 1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and
failure points are considered to identity aspects of a model or prototype that can
be improved.
Common Core Standards Grade 3-5
Measurement and Data
Solve problems involving measurement and estimation
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.A.1
Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.MD.A.1
Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.MD.A.1
Standards for Technological Literacy - All Ages
The Nature of Technology
Standard 1: Students will develop an understanding of the characteristics and
scope of technology.
Technology and Society
Standard 4: Students will develop an understanding of the cultural, social,
economic, and political effects of technology.
Standard 5: Students will develop an understanding of the effects of technology on
the environment.
Standard 6: Students will develop an understanding of the role of society in the
development and use of technology.
Standard 7: Students will develop an understanding of the influence of technology
on history.
Design
Standard 8: Students will develop an understanding of the attributes of design.
Standard 9: Students will develop an understanding of engineering design.
Standard 10: Students will develop an understanding of the role of troubleshooting,
research and development, invention and innovation, and experimentation in problem
solving.
Abilities for a Technological World
Standard 11: Students will develop abilities to apply the design process.
The Designed World
Standard 20: Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and
use construction technologies.

Materials:
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Cardboard
Art/Recycling Materials for Landscapes
Popsicle sticks
Glue
Research Notebooks
Popsicle Bridge Student Worksheet (tryengineering.org)
Chart Paper for Word Wall
Lap tops