We began a new Science Unit last week which focuses on the states of matter. The students spent a lot of time exploring different objects and describing their properties. They worked in their Materials & Matter Notebook using the Explain Everything App on their iPads. As they explored objects they compared various materials and properties in preparation for their bridge engineering challenge.
The children listened to the story "Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing" which is a book about how P.T. Barnum used his famous circus elephants to prove that the Brooklyn Bridge was safe. Many people had doubts about the safety of the bridge so P.T. Barnum marched his 21 elephants across the bridge to prove its strength. The people of Brooklyn were in awe of the sight and it was indeed the "Greatest Show on Earth"! After hearing the story the children looked at pictures of various other bridges. We discussed what materials the bridges were constructed with and what properties those materials had in common. The children were now ready to build their own bridges! The requirements for the bridge were that it had to be 45 cm long and it had to support 5 circus elephants. This was such a fun engaging cross curricular activity. The children loved it and found that with a little planning, testing, and improving, they were successful engineers! We are looking forward to our liquid matter investigations next week.