Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
Building Bridges Takes Patience at PVJH

Posted November 23rd, 2016


If a crash comes from the 7th grade science classes at Pleasant Valley Junior High, don’t worry.  They’re learning.  For the last month, PVJH students acted as engineers building bridges with glue and popsicle sticks, all the while thinking about if the bridges are safe, cost effective, can stand up to the elements and have minimal environmental and social impact.

Students worked together in teams to learn about different design concepts, create proposals and figure out which model would work best.  The teams then built a prototype to test by hanging a bucket from the bridge and filling it with sand.  The biggest problem?  Many teams did not account for the 30 centimeter gap and built bridges that were just 30 centimeters long, which would fall right down the canyon.  The students learned from their lessons, rebuilt, and tested the bridges again.

Meantime, students heard from Bettendorf’s City Manager and an Engineer with Missman, Inc.  Both are a part of the planning and construction of the new I-74 bridge.  They spoke to the students about the long planning process, as well as the need for many city, state, and federal organizations to work together to make it happen.

Click here to see the full lesson plan


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