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ERIC Number: EJ1174483
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0502
Drawbridge by Design: Civil Engineering for Middle School
Hemming, James
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v77 n7 p40-44 Apr 2018
Teaching about drawbridges allows students to apply skills they have learned in math and science, while also being creative with design and the use of available materials. Students can be exposed to current and ancient designs. Today's drawbridges are beginning to look their age and are in need of updating and modernization. New bridges are being made of 21st century materials that are lighter, stronger, and more durable, allowing them to be built taller and needing to open less often. During the drawbridge challenge described here, students will be asked to take what they have learned about structural members, loads, and structural forces and apply it to their designs. They will have to apply measurement skills and their skills in using tools in order to complete their prototype bridges. They will have to use their scientific skills to collect and record data to make informed redesigns to their prototypes as needed. By using the extension pieces to build on this activity, students understand engineering and how many people form a team to build these civil engineering structures. They will begin to see how projects are bigger than just one person and see that there are people at several different levels contributing to the final product that can be changed along the way for different reasons, including environmental impacts. This is a real-world scenario that applies skills in a real way.
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A