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Building Bridges

We have been looking at different bridge styles and structures and exploring vocabulary such as pier, deck, pillars, beams, truss and abutment.


We had a go at creating different beams and pillars using a range of suggested cross-sections and then testing the strength of them with a variety of weights. Some of our pillars and beams were able to carry a weight of 2kg! This is amazing considering our pillars were made from one sheet of paper.


The Design Process

After spending another session looking at different bridge types including those with arches or pillars and suspension bridges, the children with give the design criteria/brief. 


Each bridge needed to span a length of 50cm and have a clearance of 20cm beneath it. It had to be wide enough for two toy cars to pass on the deck and be strong, sturdy yet attractive to look at. 


In groups, the children discussed the different structures from previous DT lessons and clubbed their ideas together to create a final design.


And then the fun begins.... THE BUILD!

The Final Results


As you can see from the photos below our bridges are AMAZING! Every model had the required clearance of 20cm (which we tested with a remote dinosaur!) and each model had a deck wide enough for two toy cars to pass. Some of the groups really focused on making their bridge attractive to look at whereas other focused more on making something sturdy. Every model was able to hold a 500g weight - and some even more! Almost all of the bridges was the required length of 50cm. The children are proud of their final builds, but each group has also been able to evaluate their prototype, suggesting future improvements they would make.

PLUS...... a suspension bridge made at home!

Can Year 5 remember what these terms mean?