skip to main content

Designing Bridges

When civil engineers design bridges, they must take in to account factors like balance and motion.  This unit introduces the principles behind bridge design with the storybook Javier Builds a Bridge, about a boy who needs a safe footbridge to get to his island play fort.  Students will reinforce their understanding of "push" and "pull" as they explore how forces act on different structures/  They'll use what they know about balance and force as they experiment with beam, arch, and suspension bridges--and learn how bridge designs counteract and redirect forces and motion.  In the final design challenge, students plan, build, and test their own bridges.