Help me give my students STEAM construction sets, so they can cooperatively create 3-D bridge models, inspiring them towards a future in Engineering and providing them with insights into construction careers, after their visit with local bridge crews.
Students here are wonderful, happy kids who come from a rural Oklahoma school with 485 students, most of which are on Free and Reduced Lunch. We are well supported by the community’s local businesses, which is why it would be great to partner with the bridge construction company who has been working on local bridge replacement since last year. What many students dream of is a safety net! Students who recently graduate and start young families expect to be able to travel our roads in safety. But not in Oklahoma, where nationally, we are rated #3 for unsafe travel, due to outdated and poorly constructed bridges. Furthering our student/community partnership and our students’ involvement in the future safety of our communities, we would reach out to that construction company with completed models, and gratitude for their efficient work on our roads.
Young adults who are determined to continue their family tradition of welding (which is popular here due to the oil pipeline industry) will be motivated to raise the bar and consider a rewarding career in Civil Engineering, after having built real bridge models and personally meeting on site bridge construction employees.
Students will get to discover several types of building styles and how bridges literally support our lives. They will work cooperatively and experiment with different types of construction, finding out how architectural design provides massive weight support. Their learning will include examples of different applied forces and how engineers manage to reduce their effects. Student groups will build four working models, including truss, beam, arch, and cable stayed bridges. Students will appreciate how detailed construction models show the applied scientific principles, through innovative hands-on learning activities. Finally, they will be challenged on their newly acquired knowledge by sharing their experiences and their models with an on-site local Road & Bridge Construction company, that has been active in the community making repairs for over a year.
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