Bridges to nowhere

How does an engineer design a bridge?

In May 2018, the C23 expedition was called “Under the Bridge”.

The learning targets were :

  • I can explain how a bridge structure works using engineering terms
  • I can work from a brief to design a bridge
  • I can select and use tools to make a high quality product
  • I can apply accuracy and precision
  • I can deduce and prove geometric principles

Students looked at three case studies examining the engineering language of bridges, the structural systems of bridges and the mathematical principles underlying their design.

Immersion allowed students to intuitively work out what makes structures strong through experimentation and play.  Fieldwork was carried out in Hull where they visited the Humber Bridge and walked up the Hull river corridor looking at several different examples of bridges and relating this to their other immersion experiences.

Students used their experiences to design bridges which they drew to scale.  This allowed students to begin to develop their own bridges which would fulfil their design brief – “Design a bridge which will cross a D3AP road”.  Students built draft models using 1:100 scale drawings that thy had created and learned how to classify and define different shapes using Mathematical proof.

The expedition culminated when students presented their models to their parents in a celebration of learning.

All resources relating to this expedition can be found below:

Final Product – Bridges

(Pictures of students’ bridges will appear here once available)

C21 Bridges Expedition

C21 completed this expedition in 2017 creating 1:5 scale model of bridge designs.

C21 Final Product – 1:5 scale model of bridge designs