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Summer SAVY Session 5, Day 2, Engineering Design: Full STEAM Ahead!

Posted by on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 2:  Dear Parents,

We had another excellent day in Engineering & Design: Full STEAM Ahead! We spent the bulk of our day exploring the Engineering Design Process further and learning about different types of bridges and their attributes.  We read and discussed the book Javier Builds a Bridge and used the content of the story to make connections. Through discussions and activities related to the story, students learned about types of bridges and the Engineering Design Process in a relatable way. They even learned about how the characters in the book built metaphorical bridges that brought them closer together.

Students discovered that there are many questions to consider when choosing the best design for a bridge. Will it adequately solve the problem presented? What materials will be needed? How much will it cost? How much time will it take to build it? Does the design ensure safety? What will it take to maintain the bridge? How will erosion affect the design? Asking questions is essential, and step 2 of the Engineering Design Process.

Further, students were introduced to the main six types of bridges and their attributes. The 3 main types we focused on were: arch, suspension, and beam bridges. To check for understanding, ask your child to name some of the bridges they learned about and how they are supported (e.g. suspension cables, piers, abutments).

In the afternoon, students chose to either work on improving their “Not a Stick” creations that they created yesterday or to engage in a “Tallest Tower Challenge”. For each choice, students engaged in step 3 of the Engineering Design Process – Planning. They recorded plans in their Engineering notebooks and after sharing their plans with a teacher – got their materials and got to work creating! For the Tallest Tower Challenge, students were allowed 5 pieces of paper and two 30cm pieces of masking tape. The tallest structure that is free-standing will win the challenge! While the challenge is not yet complete –we already have some great ideas for designs!

Tomorrow, we investigate forces (pushes and pulls) that act on structures and learn how civil engineers design structures that can withstand these forces.

Ms. Davidson