This workshop is for upper Key Stage 2 children and aims to demonstrate the use of Maths in an engineering problem. After an initial discussion about the various types of bridges and the people involved in designing bridges, pupils are set the task of testing the material to be used for making their bridge; in this case straws. The test is carried out by measuring and recording the weight that a given number of straws can support over a span of 15 cm. These results are plotted on a graph. The graph is then used to plan how many straws will be needed to build a bridge with a greater span which can support a given weight. Their design is then built and tested.
QCA links – Maths
Statistics – interpret and present discrete and continuous data using appropriate graphical methods, including bar charts and time graphs.
Ratio and proportion – solve problems involving the relative sizes of two quantities where missing values can be found by using integer multiplication and division facts.
QCA links – Design and Technology
Evaluate – evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
Technical knowledge – apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
Year Groups 4, 5 & 6
Maximum group size per session 30
Requires classroom (children at desks work in groups of 3 or 4)
2 - 2.5 hours
£110 + £15 material costs per maximum 30 pupils