This lesson will be the introduction for the 8th grade bridge unit. Through the videos and other computer resources the students should have a basic understanding of how bridges work.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

The students will be able to identify 4 types of bridges.

The students will be able to list the major materials involved in bridge construction

Guiding Question:

In the 1940s the Tacoma Narrows bridge, also known as "Galloping Gurdy" collapsed. What kind of bridge was this and why did this happen?


Discovery- Understanding Bridges B81171AEB0B3

PBS- Building Big

West point bridge builder


Show students the Discovery video on understanding bridges. This is broken up into 5 parts. Stop between each section for discussion.

The following day use the PBS design challenge and the west point bridge program


Students will build a bridge out of tooth picks that will hold a minimum of 20 lbs.

Answer Key or Rubric:


Benchmark or Standards:

Standard 5 for technology- Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers and develop solutions.

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