90 Minutes  |  6th – 12th Grades

west pointThe West Point Bridge Design software is a free-to-use simulation for basic bridge design.  Students will individually explore the types of bridges in a computer lab classroom after being given an introduction to the types of bridges and basic theory of design (forces, materials, properties, etc.).  The objectives of this lesson are to introduce students to civil engineering and bridge design, construct a prototype that can be tested in the program, use the appropriate vocabulary in describing the construction of their bridge, and utilize technology to  demonstrate prototyping and engineering practices.  Additionally, there is an opportunity for students to pursue further investigation independently, in a contest sponsored by the US Military Academy at West Point.  The contest rules are simple, and a $10,000 dollar scholarship is available for the winners in each bracket.

MA Framework Content Standards:
Grades 6-8:  Technology/Engineering: 5.2 Types of Bridges and Uses.  5.3 Forces in Bridges.  5.4 Structural Loads and Shapes.
High School: Technology/Engineering: 2.2 Forces.

Lesson Plan:
Lesson Plan-West Point Bridge Design