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Title: Bridges - how and why they work
Description: The purpose of this lesson is for students to learn basic workings of three simple bridges: beam, suspension, and truss. In a hands-on lab project, students will use their knowledge of these bridges to create similar structures out of the every-day items they are provided. The students will then have to label the direction of the forces working on the bridges on a separate worksheet. 
Key Words: bridge, vector, truss, suspension, beam, compression, tension, bending, torsion, shear 
Grade Level: 7th 
Subject: Science 
 Building Bridges Activity Lesson Plan.doc
 Building Bridges Activity Sheet.docx
 Building Bridges PowerPoint (NXPowerLite).pptx

Teacher's Request: Forces and design of bridges. Hands-on building of 3 types of bridges -beam, suspension, and truss. Needs to include vocabulary and background info on bridges with introduction to vector symbols.


The PEER Program is composed of three grants entitled "GK-12 Fellows Integrate Science/Math in Rural Middle Schools", "Integrating Environmental Health Science in Rural Schools," and a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) entitled "Science Promotion in Rural Middle Schools".

Major funding for the PEER Program is provided by John Deere,
National Science Foundation, the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).