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23 Apr

Last week, 2nd class read a wonderful book called Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty. In this story there’s a little boy who is always building things. When he went on a school tour, the bridge to their picnic area collapsed and he and his class had to build a new bridge to get back across. This got us thinking about how we could make bridges. We looked at a few different types of bridges and their structures and talked about local bridges we know of. This was all under the strand of Energy and Forces.

We then got into pairs and drew a plan of the bridges we wanted to make. We looked at all the materials that were available to us and made a list of what we would need. Then we got our materials and worked together to build the best bridge that we could. We used paper plates to represent the river to make sure the bridges were wide enough. We also discussed the term ‘best’ and what it meant in this context. We decided it would mean that it held strong without being touched, that it went across the paper plate and that it was stable enough for a small figure to walk across it.

We came across some challenges as we went along, like not having enough of some materials, or the straws not being as strong as we thought they were. We learnt that they need a really solid, heavy base to stand and that it’s important to use enough tape so it doesn’t fall apart. We found that the strongest bridges tended to be corrugated paper ones.

Once we had our final bridges, we presented them to the class, discussing how we made them, challenges we had to overcome and how the result differed from out original plan. We also measured them in centimeters using our rulers. We are doing length in maths so it was interesting for us to see what made some taller than others. We also talked about how the ones that were 25cm and 50cm tall were the same as a quarter meter and a half meter.


We were delighted when we shared this on Twitter and Andrea Beaty (who wrote the book that got our ideas started) saw it and commented on it! As budding scientists, engineers and architects, our favourite quote from the book was

“There are worse things to do when you’re in grade two than to spend your time building a dream”.


One Response to “2nd class design, make and measure bridges”

  1. Ms. Sexton
    9:44 pm on April 26th, 2018

    I love that book – I think Iggy Peck would be really impressed by your fantastic bridges and especially by your excellent plans! Well done 2nd class!

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