A bridge design company challenge

This lesson involves the children working in small groups (approx 4), in a real-life context as a bridge design company. The aim is to design and build a model bridge to span the Clyde, able to hold the weight of a small toy vehicle.

The children will have to work within a set budget, purchasing materials that they will use to build their structure. The children will be given a choice of basic classroom materials to purchase and each group will also be given a free 'tool kit'.

This resource is based on work developed by staff from the Glasgow office of Halcrow, an international engineering consultancy, working with St Stephen's Primary School in Glasgow.

Broad Outcomes of learning

• Knowledge and understanding of real life applications of structures 
• Enterprising skills and attitudes developed through making oral presentations of bridge structures to whole class (ACfE capabilities) 
• Enterprising skills developed: decision making; working as part of a team 
• Employability skills enhanced - application of knowledge in real-life context 
• Employability skills enhanced - knowledge of business; running their own company - for example, working to a timescale, budget, design brief; understanding areas of business such as finance, design, buying

Relevance to curriculum

• Relevance of how maths and science (shape and materials) directly relate to the stability and strength of simple structures and is applied in a real life context

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