Implementation of “Let’s build bridges” (SoI-TR-528)

Author: Şerife Takmaz, Head Teacher

School/Organization: Konya Ereğli Science and Art Center

The aim of the event is to research and examine the basic bridge structure types, to recognize the main bridge structures, and to understand the human nature of bridges.

It was aimed to determine its importance in life and to determine the basic features and details necessary for its construction. At the same time, to develop teamwork and communication skills, creative and analytical thinking skills. To enable them to discover European cultural heritage. As part of the activity, students built their own bridges using simple materials.

    The project focused on the Mathematics, Technology, Engineering, Geography and History of Technology curricula.

Additionally, the physical principles behind bridge construction; making calculations for bridge design; focused on the history of technology and the development of the art of engineering. They also worked with Tinkercad software to design and build their own bridge.

In the scenario, the activity duration is seen as 120 minutes. However, in our classroom practice, this took 200 minutes. The scenario is implemented in the same way.

Event Date: 01-17 April 2024

Event Location: Konya Ereğli Science and Art Center

Number of Students Participating in the Event: 25

Age of Students Participating in the Event: 11-12

Total Time: 200 Minutes

Learning process/Stages of implementation

First Lesson: Art and engineering, 80 minutes

The event started with an introduction about the art of bridge building and its impact on our lives. Then, the subject and goals of the project were explained to the students. Then the students researched bridge types. A video demonstration of different bridge types and their features was made. We moved on to discussing the most common bridges in Europe. (Link: )

The discussion was guided by the following questions:

• What are the most common types of bridges in Europe?

• What are the characteristics of different types of bridges?

• What materials are used to build bridges?

• How are forces distributed across different types of bridges?

• What is the role of bridges in people’s lives?

After the discussion, we worked with an augmented reality application (mozaik 3d) to see the bridge types and details. The necessary images are here:

metin, ekran görüntüsü, dış mekan içeren bir resim

Working with Augmented Reality

Then the “bridge puzzle game” was played to help students learn more about the shape and construction of bridges. The images here

were reproduced for each student. And the game was guided by the following questions.

• What type of bridge has an arch shape? 

• What type of bridge is supported by cables that intersect each other? 

• What type of bridge consists of a single long beam?

 • What type of bridge is used to cross a river when it is necessary to preserve an open space for ships? 

• What type of bridge is supported by one or more columns on either side?

ekran görüntüsü, masa, tasarım içeren bir resim

Açıklama otomatik olarak oluşturuldu

Students Playing “bridge puzzle game”

Then, the students prepared presentations consisting of the images and information they found about different types of bridges. Students showed their presentations to other groups and discussed the differences between different types of bridges.

Lessons Two and Three: Mathematics, Science, Technology Relation to Design and Engineering, 120 minutes

The lesson started by watching the “Tacoma Bridge” video (Link:

The video used real-time footage of the Tacoma bridge collapse due to poor design and construction. Later, the students discussed the reasons for the collapse of the bridge. Students looked at pictures of the rebuilt Tacoma bridge and tried to explain why its design looked stronger and safer.

Students examined the structures of different bridges in small groups (Link: )

Then he invited the class to share their thoughts. Students then worked in groups and labeled their bridge projects on a large sheet of paper. They were encouraged to include and label important parts of the bridge system.

metin, masa, giyim, el yazısı içeren bir resim

Açıklama otomatik olarak oluşturuldu

Students’ Bridge Drawings on Paper

Students then worked in a virtual physics laboratory.



This laboratory activity allowed students to see what the forces required for a support look like. They observed changes in the suspension bridge as an object moved across it.

metin, bilgisayar, oğlan, kişisel bilgisayar içeren bir resim

Açıklama otomatik olarak oluşturuldu
metin, bilgisayar, görüntüleme cihazı, çıkış cihazı içeren bir resim

Açıklama otomatik olarak oluşturuldu

Working in a Virtual Physics Laboratory

Association with Mathematics

They measured the length, height and slope of a bridge using a meter with the GeoGebra program. They also saw factors that affect the load on a bridge, such as weight. Number of vehicles, number of passes, etc. They gained information on topics such as.


The students were then given the task of building a sturdy bridge. They worked in groups in this activity.

Used materials:

• Cardboard tubes,

• Wooden sticks or strips of poster board (cardboard),

• Rope or skewer

• Glue or silicone gun

giyim, insan yüzü, kolaj, kişi, şahıs içeren bir resim

Açıklama otomatik olarak oluşturuldu
giyim, ayakkabı, kolaj, masa içeren bir resim

Açıklama otomatik olarak oluşturuldu

Building a Bridge with Materials

This activity helps students learn that the longer the bridge, the weaker it is, and the distance between bridges, the bridge will collapse under its own weight if the supports are too large.

For the next activity, students were divided into groups. Each group was given approximately 50 plastic straws, one thin skewer (1 cm), and one small skewer. Students built a bridge with these materials. They then carefully tested their structures for durability. Plastic containers and candies were used as cargo. Their containers were filled with candies. Students were asked to count the number of candies the structures could hold. The structure that held the most sugar won and the characteristics of the strongest structure were discussed.

They then thought about how engineers and architects used this information during bridge construction.

They sought answers to the following questions:

• What kinds of events can push or pull real structures (gravity, water, wind, etc.)?

• What factors do engineers consider before building a bridge?

• How far does a bridge need to span?

• Is where the bridge is built a critical factor? Is the floor solid enough to support large arch supports? Is there a good foundation to which the suspension cables can be fixed? If the bridge must cross a river, how can engineers safely sink the supports and towers into the riverbed so that flowing water doesn’t wash them away?

• What load should the bridge be able to carry? Can it withstand trains, cars and pedestrians?

• How do architects and engineers decide to have solid structures? When might they want to be flexible?

• How can engineers increase a building’s earthquake-resistant ability?

With the link below, they tried to better understand how the bridge design should be.


Then, the students created their bridge designs with the 3D design tool.


bilgisayar, giyim, kişi, şahıs, metin içeren bir resim
metin, bilgisayar, bilgisayar monitörü, giyim içeren bir resim

Açıklama otomatik olarak oluşturuldu

Students Designing a 3D Bridge with Tinkercad


Students were evaluated based on the criteria of Understanding the Task, Planning, Research, Creativity, Teamwork, Productivity, Project presentation, Risk assessment, Self-criticism and self-control.

Let’s Build Bridges! With the scenario, students:

They researched and studied the basic types of bridge structures. They got to know the main bridge construction. They understood the importance of bridges in human life and learned the main features and details necessary for their construction.

They built their own bridges using simple materials and experimentally determined the maximum load that the bridge they built could withstand. They deepened their understanding of bridge construction and their role in human life.

Students learned the physical principles behind bridge construction. They made calculations for the bridge design. They studied the history of technology and the development of the art of engineering. They also designed their own bridges by working with Tinkercad software.

They used mathematical concepts to calculate various aspects of bridges such as length, height, slope angle and other parameters.

They also learned to use software for bridge design and honed their skills in computer science.

Students increased their knowledge in geography by learning the geographical features of different regions and the various obstacles they may encounter when designing bridges.

They examined the physical principles behind bridge construction. It enabled students to understand how bridge structures work and how they can be improved.

The project helped students increase their knowledge in mathematics, computer science, geography and physics, as well as develop their creative and analytical skills. It also improved teamwork and communication skills. Students learned to collaborate and solve problems together using their individual knowledge and skills.

The knowledge and skills gained from bridge design formed the basis for the students’ future professional development in engineering, architecture and construction. Additionally, this project developed students’ general competencies in important areas that can be applied in various areas of life, including scientific research, technical and artistic fields.

During the project, students also had the opportunity to explore the European cultural heritage related to bridges. By learning the history and architecture of these bridges, they helped them raise their cultural level and expand their horizons.

Students also experienced the excitement of learning new things.

Link to the learning scenario implemented: Let’s Build Bridges! (EN – CUR – 758) – Teaching With Europeana (

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

PDM 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Albertina.

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