During homebase at SHS, students were tasked with working together to build a bridge meeting a set of criteria. Limiting materials to only newspapers and masking tape, students had to build a bridge tall enough for the “boat” to sail under, wide enough for the “boat” to float through sideways, strong enough to support the “boat” for ten seconds on the bridge and it had to be free-standing. Students used a water bottle to represent the boat. After a few additional specifics and rules, the teams got to work.
Groups were given a strict time schedule. The initial two minutes were slated to assign roles and make a plan, followed by 15 minutes to build the bridge accordingly, and lastly, 15 minutes for testing the final product and reflection.
At the conclusion of the activity, students spent time processing the experience. Questions to ponder included how group members interacted, was it hard, how were decisions made, what would you do differently, what did you like about this activity, and how did you design the bridge, among others.
Through the process, students worked on time management and collaboration skills, and they had fun in the process!