Building a Bridge to OUR Future


Plan. Construct. Test. Repeat. This week in Mrs. Wiltgen’s classroom, room 251, students in science competition have been participating in the nation-wide AASHTO TRAC bridge-building competition. The project has changed the way students look at science in their classrooms. 

The students worked together to build a Truss Bridge, a bridge that is rigid and used for transfers from one point to a much wider area. The challenge is to create a bridge that will carry more weight than other bridges, yet weigh less. To represent this, students were given a ratio for the weight and a specific set of instructions.

“Constructing things, writing things, putting it together, and research were my favorite parts,” said Aileen D’Souza. 

D’Souza saw her challenge, had an idea what she was going to do from the start, and faced it head-on. 

Not only did students build a bridge, but they also had to write a descriptive multi-paragraph project proposal about their bridge. For the proposal, research had to be done for them to determine how they would build their bridge for optimal results.

Gabriela Campos and Ivana Ortega both agreed “The project wasn’t that hard, but we wish we could’ve used more materials.” To sum it up, fewer materials brought more challenges, making the overall goal a little bit harder.

Many students realized that to complete the project, they had to work well together. For one group, they had a terrific outcome, but quite a few bumps along the way. By the end, all the hard work and dedication paid off and almost everyone was successful.

Eighth-grader Max Glater stated, “What we learned from this bridge-building experience was teamwork.” Other students also agree. Partnering is what brought the project together. Charles Russo agreed! “I now know that it’s easier with teamwork.”