build toothpick bridges
The 8th grade math and science classes at Prairie Middle School were busy building bridges for the last 10 days of school.
5 students were assigned to a company. Each student had a specific job position: architect, carpenter, accountant, transportation chief and project director.
This activity was a lesson to show how a company needs to work as a team to be successful, how to deal with inflation of warehouse supplies and how important math and science is to all 5 jobs. Job sites and workers were fined for a variety of infractions including a messy work site, accounting errors, too much talking and a low work ethic. The companies accounting books were also audited by the trustworthy firm of C-S Audit Inc. (Mrs. Sonnen & Mrs. Savage own the firm!)
At the end of this project the companies paid their employees on a percentage basis. All according to the amount of education each job requires in real life.
The companies then broke their bridges using lead shot. The bridges broke in a variety of ways some imploded, some popped off their foundations and some exploded. Discussions of why using science and math concepts made for interesting conversations. The 6 bridges held anywhere from 21 pounds to 54 ¼ pounds. Overall both the students and teachers learned a lot from this activity. We all agree that toothpicks will never look the same again!
Awards given to companies were:
Best Bridge design and Strongest bridge (54 ¼ lbs) - Logan Dahlen, Cheryl Gehring, Tyler Workman, Tiffany Stinson, Kayla Frei
Neatness of bridge- Alex Duman, Chris Bradley, Talyor Heitman, Tayler Heitman, Hope Vanator
Runner-up for strongest bridge (46 ½ lbs)- Cody Tillinghast, Tyler Ross, Derek Vanderpas, Shawn Leonard, Garrett Schmidt.