This experiment tied in with the strand, materials and the strand unit, properties and characteristics of materials.
We were engineers for the day!
We learned that it is an engineer’s job to design materials and products. We all acted as engineers and designed our own bridges.
As we were required to count how many cubes each bridge could support this investigation was connected with the maths curriculum. The experiment was connected with the strand number and the strand unit counting. The children had a lot of fun counting all the unifix cubes.
Wooden blocks, paper, carboard and unifix cubes.
In senior infants we made different types of bridges. We had a lot of fun making these bridges. We discovered what bridges were strong and what materials made them strong. Here are some of the bridges that we made.
There were five different bridges that we had to create. These bridges were; a bridge with one sheet lying across it, a bridge with two sheets lying across the top, a walled bridge, a bridge with an arch underneath it and a bridge with corrugated sides.
We predicted that the first bridge would hold the least amount as it did not have much support. We predicted that the the bridge with the arch underneath would hold the most unifix cubes.
With our first bridge we used two blocks to support the bridge. To make the test a fair test we had to make sure that the blocks were 14cm apart for all bridges. With our first bridge we placed a sheet of paper on top of these two blocks. We placed unifix cubes on top of this bridge and we counted how many unifix cubes the bridge could support.
Findings: Our first bridge collapsed after 7 blocks.
For our second bridge we had carried out the same experiment. We made sure that the blocks were 14cm apart. We placed two pages on top of the blocks instead of one page. This made the bridge slightly stronger and gave it more support.
Findings: This bridge could hold 10 blocks.
With our next bridge we created a walled bridge. The blocks were placed 14cm apart. We got one piece of paper and folded the sides. This created a wall on the bridge and helped support more unifix cubes. The cubes went to the sides of the wall and the wall began to bulge.
Findings: The walled bridge could support 11 cubes.
For our fourth bridge we added an arch underneath the bridge. It was amazing to see how the arch made the bridge stronger. It gave a lot more support and it helped balance more unifix cubes.
Findings: The bridge with the arch underneath it could support 20 unifix cubes.
Bridge 5 was a corrugated bridge. We placed a page on top of the blocks and then we folded over another piece of paper a few times, to make it corrugated. The crinkled pieces of paper dispersed the weight across the bridge.
Findings: This bridge could hold 25 unifix cubes.
Our Final Bridge:
For our final bridge we experimented and made our own. We wanted to make a very strong bridge. To make a strong bridge we changed the base of the bridge. Instead of using paper we used magnetic boards. These boards are made out of cardboard and are very difficult to bend. Some boys and girls even put an arch underneath their bridges to make it extra strong and durable! Don’t our bridges look great!