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Bridge Building

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Bridge Building

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Mr. Mckeon sets up a really fun event for all the fifth graders – bridge building. He has been doing this event for about fifteen years. This event teaches you how to collaborate with each other while completing a difficult task.   

The main purpose of the challenge is to build a bridge between two chairs that are thirty inches apart from each other using masking tape and newspaper. However, there’s a catch –  it has to hold 100 lbs. In this event students have to purchase the masking tape and the newspaper, it’s not free. Working within an imaginary budget is another part of the challenge. Considering all costs, there’s also a delivery charge for the supplies. That means it costs you extra to get the supplies. After your first purchase, the delivery charge could increase. The way you win is not only by building a successful bridge, but by budgeting and “spending” the least amount of money.  

You get a $10,000 imaginary budget to purchase the supplies.

  • Newspaper (1 lbs) = $1,000
  • Masking Tape (1 roll) = $500

You are only able to purchase two rolls of tape.

The bridge building teams are mostly divided into groups of three. Each member of the team has their own job: foreman, treasurer, and inspector. The foreman makes final decisions. The treasurer figures out the prices and the amount of money being saved. Lastly the inspector goes around and looks at other teams’ bridges, but their time and visits are limited.

One really fun thing to come up with is the team name. Some teams make names from television shows or the team members use their initials as their team name. The most weight that a bridge held was about 285 lbs. That is pretty amazing.

This is a challenging activity that all the fifth graders from the past remember and the new fifth graders now enjoy.

 

 

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