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London Bridge is falling down! Amelia Earhart second grade students brought this popular children’s song to life as they are worked hard to create and test their own bridges, with their bridges eventually falling down at the end of the activity.
As part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity, the second graders were challenged to use popsicle sticks to create a truss bridge. A truss bridge is a type of bridge that became popular in the 1800s. These bridges became more frequently used because they were strong enough to hold the weight of trains, which had become the main mode of transportation and shipping. As these students built their bridge, they were instructed to think of methods that would allow the bridge to carry as much weight as possible.
Following the construction of the bridges, the students gathered together to watch as the various bridges were tested with different weights. As it turns out, the students did a wonderful job crafting the bridges because each bridge held more than 50 pounds and the winning bridge held 96 pounds. Students were then able to discuss and analyze why the different bridges were able to hold different amounts of weight.
Through this activity, students were able to participate in a fun STEM lesson where they learned about the many engineering factors that go into constructing bridges and the science behind bridge stability.