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Program Proposal

Kacey Nichols
Library Associate
AACPL
In conjunction with the Anne Arundel County Public Library's STEM initiative, the Riviera Beach
Community Library will host a paper bridge building program called London Bridge is Fall Down! Will
Yours?
AACPL STEM Statement
Literacy is indeed our specialty, but did you know were dedicated to assisting children of all ages
improve their STEMabilities? From Legopalooza to Geocaching, the Anne Arundel County Public
Library offers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs at all 15 of our
library branches!
STEM education fosters a love of mathematics and science by encouraging learners to engage in
inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration and investigation. Often, the spark that inspires interest in
STEM is ignited by an informal learning experience in a public setting, such as a library or museum.
The sky is the limit where STEM education is concerned and our staff is hard at work creating
programs that will educate, engage and inspire children of all ages!
This initiative is generously supported by a grant from the Calliope Tsoulias Morfessis Braun
Memorial Fund.
Program Description
A new pedestrian bridge is being built across Fort Smallwood Road near the Compass Pointe Golf
Course. With its beautiful views of the golf course, many people like to stand in the middle of the
bridge and take pictures. It is your job as a Structural Engineer to test scale models to see what style
of bridge is the safest for pedestrians to stop and enjoy the views.
Supplies
The program will use everyday objects that can be found in their home, to encourage participants to
use their imagination and recreate the program at home.
5 sheets of legal size paper as the bridge
2 plastic drinking cups as bridge supports
1 blue sheet of legal paper as "water"
1 small dixie cup to hold pennies
1 small index card
50 pennies and 10 washers as weights. Each penny equals 1 person and each washer equals
10 people.
Program Steps
The program begins with a discussion about engineers and the different types of jobs they do. An
Engineer is a problem solver. There are several types of engineers: Aeronautical, Civil, Structural,
mechanical, electronic, and more!
The participants will test 4 different styles of bridges to see which style can support the most weight.
The first two bridges will use pennies, the last two will use washers. Place the bridge supports on the
opposite ends of the blue legal size paper (long ways). Put the paper bridge on the supports. For the

first two bridges put the index card in the middle with the small dixie cup on top of the index card and
add pennies for the weight. For the last two bridges remove the dixie cup and keep the index card in
the middle.
The experiment will begin with the weakest bridge style and progress to the strongest option. For
bridge one, the paper will be folded in half long ways, it will look similar to a hotdog. Bridge two is
folded into thirds long ways towards the middle, the outside folds will stick up and look like walls. The
third bridge is a similar design to the second bridge but we fold the outside folds (walls) a second time
towards the fold, long ways. Finally, the fourth and strongest bridge will use the exact same bridge
design as bridge three but you will add an accordion folded piece under the wall design.
Just like in real life test labs, the bridges are designed to fail; they just have different fail points. The
first bridge will have a weaker fail point then the fourth bridge. The key to having the strongest bridge
is to have as even as possible folds.
When all four bridges are complete, we will discuss what makes a strong bridge. The answer is the
triangle. Triangles are the strongest geometric shape and is used on bridges, roofs, and everything
else man made that supports. The more triangles your bridge has, the stronger it will be.
Evaluation
Evaluation will take place after the event is over. We will ask participants in an informal manner:
1. If the event was fun
2. would they do it again
3. any feedback they would like to provide
Potential Community Partnership
This program is open to participants of all ages, but is recommended for ages 6 to 13. We will focus
our promotion of the program to school-age families. Press release and emails about the program
will be sent to Elementary and Middle Schools in the area around Riviera Beach Community Library.
Program Format
A special thanks to the Baltimore Museum of Industry for providing the basic format of the program to
the Anne Arundel County Public Library.
Elevator Speech
Join the Riviera Beach Community Library for its exciting STEM program London Bridge is Falling
Down! Will Yours? Put on your imagination hard hat on and test 4 different styles of bridges to see
which one is the strongest! Program is recommended for ages 6 to 13, but all are welcome. Space is
limited.

Library
Headquarters
5 S. Harry Truman
Parkway
Annapolis, MD
21401

Press Release
Release Contact: Kacey Nichols, Library Associate
410-222-6285
knichols@aacpl.net

For Immediate Release

Join the Riviera Beach Community Library for its newest STEM program London Bridge is Falling
Down! Will Yours? A new pedestrian bridge is being built across Fort Smallwood Road near the
Compass Pointe Golf Course. With its beautiful views of the golf course, many people like to stand in
the middle and take pictures. It is your job as a Structural Engineer to test scale models to see what
style of bridge is the safest for pedestrians to stop and enjoy the views.
The program is recommended for children ages 6 to 13 years, but all are welcome.
Special thanks to the Baltimore Museum of Industry for the program's format.
About AACPL's STEM Initiative:
Literacy is indeed our specialty, but did you know were dedicated to assisting children of all ages
improve their STEMabilities? From Legopalooza to Geocaching, the Anne Arundel County Public
Library offers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs at all 15 of our
library branches!
STEM education fosters a love of mathematics and science by encouraging learners to engage in
inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration and investigation. Often, the spark that inspires interest in
STEM is ignited by an informal learning experience in a public setting, such as a library or museum.
The sky is the limit where STEM education is concerned and our staff is hard at work creating
programs that will educate, engage and inspire children of all ages!
This initiative is generously supported by a grant from the Calliope Tsoulias Morfessis Braun
Memorial Fund. If you want to support your library through the Anne Arundel County Public Library
Foundation with a tax deductible donation, please contact our Development Office at 410.222.7371 or
go to the Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation website and select the "Donate" button.
Social Media:
This program will also be posted on AACPLs Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages. The program
would be posted on each social media site at least 2 weeks before, than a repeat post will be done on
the respected pages 1 week before and then the day before the program.