This weeks construction challenge was to build a bridge for a bottle. The children were given three lengths of string for use if they chose. They could use only natural sticks, nothing man-made. The bottle had to fit underneath both upright and lying on its side, and the bridge had to be strong enough to support the bottle for at least ten seconds. The children were only allowed to examine the bottles (which were filled with water) for two minutes before the building started.
This activity really challenges not only construction techniques, understanding of force, knot-work, estimation and prediction but also the children’s ability to work together productively. Good planning, clear communication and a sense of perseverance are key. We will run variations of this task over the coming weeks.
At the end of the session bridges were tested and evaluated by the whole class.