This app is a challenge of the strength and endurance of the bridge. Depending on the different levels, the students will have to construct bridges with using different materials and budgets to test how expensive different bridges are but also if they would realistically stand the traffic traveling over top of them. This gets the students initially to think of logical ways different bridges in different terrain can be accomplished. Bridge Constructor is also good for removing barriers to students that are struggling because it contains a hint tool. The students have to use some of their bridge money in order to use this tool so the students that get the design won't cheat and just use one of the designs offered in the hint tool but will give the struggling students a starting step. Click here to view the application.
Students can build from the app above and move on to thinking about the structure of the bridge not just if it will withstand the heavy loads of the traffic. This app was constructed by a civil engineer but it available for all ages. The students are given different problems that they must create a sturdy truss structure to support a certain load. The object of this app is to create a structurally sturdy truss but keeping it as light weight as possible. This would be a great segway into talking about how bridges will collapse over time if there is to much load or there is to much weight on the supporting trusses of the bridge. The student then presses the 'play' button in which their truss either falls apart or they move on to the next level. If the structure collapses, the program shows which connection was weak and then the student can fix their problems instead of beginning from the start again. There are two different modes available either freestyle or challenge that will help students that fully understand or the students that need extra help. Click here
This is a new application that goes in depth on how to support the bridge. The application again gives you a budget in which the student has to decide which connector units to put on the bridge and where the connectors should be placed. Connectors are used in bridges so that it can support the bridge from the bottom up. These create pivot points in which the teacher could expand on further lessons or connect to lesson in math to talk about the different angles of the pivot points. You can get to this fun app by clicking here.
COLUMNS, TRUSSES, AND ARCHES, OH MY.
This application is not an activity like the 3 above but it is an animation site that the students can go on and test out different pre-structured designs. It shows different forces inherent in cables, arches, domes, columns , beams and more.There are different animations that test out different forces on structures that the could students could watch and then do one of the above applications in order to get an overview of a supportive bridge. This application is not yet released but I will be awaiting its arrival !
Bridge Physics is an application that gives you designs but then gives you commands on how to fix the designs. You can see the different commands in the images below some of which include build a truss and distribute the weight. The student must move different points on the beams, pivot points or suspension in order to accompany the weight. I think this would be great practice for the students in knowing how to answer these different assignments because this would be how you would test the student on exams giving them different materials, forces and across different landscape and seeing if they understand the different components of the bridge. Click here