MiniPage Teacher's Guide
MiniPage activities meet many state and national educational standards. This week's standards: Students understand science and technology. Students understand the abilities of technological design. (Science: Science and Technology)
1. Have a bridge-building contest with your friends. Collect miniature marshmallows, toothpicks, uncooked spaghetti, cardboard and rubber bands. Use these materials to create different bridges. Who can build the tallest bridge? Who can build the longest bridge? Whose bridge can hold a toy car? Several toy cars? Draw pictures of your bridges.
2. Look in the hardware store ads of the newspaper for at least five examples of tools or materials that someone might use to construct a small bridge. For example, you might find saws, hammers, lumber, nails, etc. List the items on a piece of paper. Next to each item, write a sentence telling how it could be used to build a bridge.
3. Find a bridge near where you live or travel. Draw a picture of your bridge. Now write a short paragraph describing your bridge. Include this information in your paragraph: What type of bridge is your bridge? Why is that design good for the location?
4. Which type of bridge do you think is best in each of these locations: (a) across a small stream, (b) across a deep canyon between two tall mountains, (c) across a shallow canyon between two hills, and (d) across water in a river to connect two islands? Explain why your selections would work best.
5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn more about common bridges such as trestle bridges or pontoon bridges. Use these questions to guide your research: Where is this type of bridge used most frequently? What are its advantages? How difficult is the bridge to construct? Write a paragraph about the bridge you investigate.