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Lesson Plan

Science Olympiad
“Bridge Building”

Day 1: Get Acquainted
In order to get started, you need to begin by reading the rule manual description of your
event with your partner. This is a close read activity where you will follow these steps:
1. First read: Read it independently. When you are finished, discuss the main
idea, summarize it, retell it in your own words, and notice key details with your
partner!

2. Second read: Read it together. Circle any new vocabulary that you and your
partner are unfamiliar with. Use a strategy (context clues or word look-up) to
discover the meaning of those words and write them in.
3. Third read: Read it together: Make inferences. What are some things that you
know you’re going to need to do as a result of the instructions that you are given.

Day 2: Analyze Your Sources

Here are a list of sources that your teachers have compiled for you:
● Science Olympiad Bridge Building
● Constructing the Golden Gate Bridge
● Famous Bridges Around the World
These sources are related to the topics in the “Bridge Building” event. After reading your
event description, you came up with a plan for how to best study these topics, and today
you are going to analyze the sources that you are given and create an attribute list of their
effectiveness. A good researcher has to be organized, so you located the topics you will be
responsible for, so as you read each source, create an attribute list of things that the source
offers.

This is meant to help you organize your sources in a meaningful way, weed out sources
that do not provide any new information, and identify gaps in knowledge that alert you to
where you will need to do more research.
Also, as you watch the video, identify special considerations that were used regarding how
to construct a bridge!

Day 3: Come Up With a Plan: Raft Writing

Now that you have read your event’s description, you are going to come up with a plan!
What are the important things that you and your partner are researching for your event?
Were you given specific details about the pieces of information that you will be tested on?
Using the RAFT Writing strategy, you are going to write about your plan. You may choose
your own Role, Audience, and Format, but your Topic will address how you plan to become
“Bridge Building” experts! These will be shared at the end of the day’s meeting time.

Role

Audience

Function

Topic

From whose
perspective are your
writing?

Who are you writing
to?

What type of writing
is this?

What is your plan to
address all of the
topics in the “Straw
Tower” event?

● Travele

● Kids

● Song

r

● Family
● Congr

● Archit
ect
● City
Planner
● Presid
ent
● Autho
r
● Touris
t
● A
fictional
character
● Famo
us singer
● _______
______

ess

● Poem
● Speec
h

● Princi
pal
● Parent
s
● Pilot
● News
reporter
● _______
____

● Letter
● Comic
● Spoke
n Word
● Propo
sal for a new
bill
● _______
______

Day 4, 5: Putting It Together

Today, you will be creating a game-plan for your tests. Come up with at least 3 different
variations of the bridge to test! Consider what structures to use to support the bridge, how
you are going to attach the pieces, and any other considerations that you devised from the
videos! Build the bridges and get them ready for testing on our next day!

Days 6: Test It!

Today, you are running tests on your designs! Create your own method of recording data!
You may use charts, technology, or any other way that works for you and your partner! Be
sure to keep track of what has worked and what has NOT worked.

Days 7: Re-Evaluate Using Six Thinking Hats

Based on what you saw when you tested your designs, what problems did you encounter?
Complete the Six Thinking Hats activity with your partner. You will use this to help you
determine what the BEST design for your bridge is!

Days 8: Build and Fly the “Perfect” Rocket

Based on all of your tests and reflections, today you are going to build the “perfect” bridge. Test
your bridge and be sure to document its success! You need to look back at all your tests and
decide what were the effective characteristics of your previous builds, and the ineffective
characteristics. You should have thought about this during the 6 Thinking Hats Activity and come
up with a plan. Today you will build and test your plan!

Days 9, 10: SCAMPER

You have now tested and built the “perfect” bridge, but a true scientist’s work is never done until
he or she has exhausted ALL of the possibilities for improvement. In order to do so, you are
going to use SCAMPER. Work through each letter of the acronym to see if there are ways to
improve your bridge. Make sure that any alterations still comply with the rules that are set forth
for your event! This should take you two days!

Day 11: Visualization and Role Play

Before you get started, close your eyes and imagine yourself arriving at Brookwood High
School for the tournament. Imagine that you are carrying an empty suitcase for all of your
knowledge. While your eyes are closed, discuss with your partner what pieces of knowledge
you can pack in your suitcase and imagine putting each piece in the suitcase. Ask
yourselves, “Am I forgetting anything for the trip?” Pick up your suitcase- how does it feel?
Heavy? Light? Talk to your neighbor about how the suitcase feels to you… Are there items
that you forgot that you need to go back and get? Do you feel like the suitcase is heavy with
knowledge that will help you be extra-prepared for your trip?

Today you are going to role play as if you were arriving at the event. You need to do a timed
trial run of your project to make sure that you can construct it in the amount of time you
are given and that you are comfortable with the build techniques you’ve practiced!