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Bridges and Problem Solving

Mariana Monteiro

This Tuesday was as exciting as it was challenging for our Grades 10 and 11 students. Together with other high schoolers from a local school, students were given a problem solving task: to build a bridge that could stand freely between two tables, and that could support 500gr or more. The bridge that could stand most weight before collapsing would win the challenge. Students were only given 100 kebab sticks, black tape and two scissors to build their bridges, and an hour to complete the challenge. In groups of 4 or 5, students put their minds together and started working on their designs, some quite complex, others quite simple, but still effective. The sense of focus, but also fun, prevailed as students started testing their bridges to see how much weight they could withstand. At the end of this experience, all students could say they learned about problem solving and collaborative work. Well done 10th and 11th graders!