Through out this month of January, I will be participating in a collaborative series with 53 other bloggers organized by Little Bins for Little Hands to bring you the A-Z of STEM subjects. While this A-Z STEM series is happening, we also still have our weekly STEM Saturday linky party! This week we’ll be combining the two with a STEM post about building bridges.
Building bridges is mostly covered by the E (engineering) part of STEM. There is also some math and science involved.
We made our bridge using supplies we happened to have on hand: toothpicks and wood glue. Other materials can be used if you don’t have those items readily available, such as tree trimmings, popsicle sticks, tongue compressors, super glue, gorilla glue, white school glue, etc..
First start out be researching types of bridges so you can pick which kind you want to make. We went with a simple Warren Truss bridge design. Once you know kind of bridge you want to make, measure out your materials and use those measurements to draw a sketch of the bridge.
Now either put a piece of wax paper over your drawing, or slip your drawing into a plastic page protector. You want to be able to see it but you don’t want glue to stick to it. Start laying out your building materials over the drawing with glue where the building materials meet.
You’re going to want two of these pieces, one for either side. So once you finish laying out all the building material and gluing them together, carefully slip the sketch of the bridge out from under the wax paper (or out from the plastic page protector) and leave the first part of the bridge to dry while you repeat those steps to make a second, identical side of the bridge.
Once you’ve finished making your bridge sides and they are both set aside to dry, you’ll want to make a bottom for the bridge. Do this by laying a piece of wax paper over your bridge sketch (or putting it into a page protector) and then laying 3 straight lines of glue over the drawing, each the length of the bridge. Lay down your building material so that they are touching both the glue and pieces on either side of themselves.
When finished with that step, put aside all three parts of the bridge built so far (two sides, one bottom) and let dry overnight.
The next day, carefully peel the bridge pieces off of the wax paper (or page protector) and trim any excess glue. Assemble the pieces, place glue where the pieces meet, and use clips to hold the pieces together until dry.
Plastic clothes pins or metal binder clips would work well. I used chip clips to hold mine together.
Once done, remove the clips and viola! Your bridge is complete.
To see the rest of the A-Z STEM series, be sure to check out Little Bins for Little Hands.
Check out what my STEM Saturday Co-Hosts are up to this week!
The Best of Saturday Science 2014 from The Science Kiddo
Best Kids Science Activities and Sensory Play from Little Bins for Little Hands
Top 10 Science Activities of 2014 from Stir the Wonder
For more hands-on STEM exploration check out our STEM Saturday Pinterest Board!
Follow Sarah McClelland’s board Science Experiments for Kids on Pinterest.
Link up your STEM projects below!