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Second graders build bridges out of toilet paper rolls

Second graders used math and engineering to construct a working bridge out of bathroom tissue rolls and other materials during Lower School math enrichment teacher Phoebe Dierkers’ project math class. The project enables students to learn and build four types of bridges: beam, truss, suspension, and arch bridges. “They use their understanding of the different features and elements of each bridge to develop a plan for the most structurally sound construction. Using geometry and measurement, students experiment with the strength of different shapes such as piers and other supports where tension and compression work together to provide strength. Students also use measurement in determining the size of their bridge’s deck, as well as the height of their piers. As engineers, they make observations and necessary changes throughout the bridge construction process,” Dierkers said.