Bayside MS Students Become Engineers
Grade 7 and 8 Bayside students had an opportunity to test their engineering skills in the elective, “Engineers, Earthquakes, and Society.” Students studied the basic principals of structural engineering and then spent many weeks drafting and revising a design of a bridge that had to fit specific criteria, including dimensions and amount of “lumber” allotted. Students followed a budget and had to calculate within 12 cm how much wood they would use. They were required to “purchase” more if needed. Then, they collaborated with their partners to each build one half of their bridge.
Students had to communicate effectively in order to be sure that the bridge was symmetrical, the measurements accurate, the lumber was cut correctly, and they were not wasting wood. Now that the bridges are complete they will be tested for the capacity hold weight and students will calculate the overall bridge efficiency.
Throughout the semester, students also carried out individual research projects where they learned about an earthquake of their choice. The bulk of their research was geared towards answering the following question: “What societal factors influence the destructive power of an earthquake?” Students learned how infrastructure, geography, population density, economy, and warning systems can play a huge role in the damage caused by earthquakes. Students created a digital presentation of their findings which they presented to the class. In addition to focusing on technology and research benchmarks the class was a great opportunity to
practice the Expected Student Learning Results, particularly Collaboration and Global Citizenship.
Research shows that the middle years are when kids become inspired to study engineering. The Engineers & Earthquakes elective was fun, challenging, and for most of the kids it the first time they had attempted a project of this type. They were proud of their work and are looking forward to testing day.
To read more stories about Shekou International School visit their website: www.sis.org.cn/why-choose-sis