Oley Valley Middle School students build bridges to success in STEM
Oley Valley Middle School’s STEM class is currently designing and building wood bridges. This activity is a hands-on introduction to engineering, which also incorporates math skills through the design of a truss bridge. The eighth-grade STEM students received a unique set of constraints and criteria which simulate a weighted load on their bridges. Using a stress analyzer and bridge designer software, students created a unique truss design. Then they took their designs and created their bridge using materials provided by the teacher. Each trimester a new material is added or removed from the constraints. This trimester string was added, and a few groups have decided to design their bridges based on the suspension bridge design. This is one of the students’ favorite projects of the semester, especially when it comes to load testing them.