Submitted by: Jeannie Hyder
Submitted by: Kaylani West
The students at Wimbish Adventist School in Macon, Ga., recently became bridge builders! In April, students in grades 2 through 7 competed to construct a bridge sturdy enough to withstand a final test of strength.
At the onset of the competition, the students researched bridge structures and construction techniques. James Wells, a civil engineer and parent of one of the students, shared the science of bridge building and the mathematical application of using triangles to create strong bridges. John Weston, a career project manager whose spouse is the school’s principal, Ruth Ann Weston, provided project management expertise. With students using what they had learned from research and from the local professionals, the competition began. Their only guidelines were 1) to make a plan and stick to it, and 2) to work individually.
As independent builders, the students created and named their own unique company, and then assumed full responsibility for all facets of the project. Each builder was given a $2.5 million budget, and was responsible for purchasing all supplies. Materials were ordered using a Warehouse Price List, and paid for by each student using “pretend” checks. A company balance sheet was used to track cash flow and to ensure that purchases were within budget.
Materials arrived, and bridge construction began. As each drop of glue and every toothpick went carefully into place, the individual bridges began to take shape.
Once all of the contest entries were constructed, it was finally time to test. Parents were invited to watch the excitement. Downward pressure was applied to each bridge by gradually adding sand to a small bucket, which was carefully attached to the center of the bridge, until the bridge collapsed. Then the sand was weighed to determine which bridge had supported the most weight.
The winner was Kaylani West! West is 9 years old, and in the third grade. When asked what she enjoyed best about the project, West said that “building the bridge was the most fun part, and I got to name my own company: Butter Builders! She also enjoyed winning. The Wimbish school family congratulates Kaylani West and all of the bridge builders!
Georgia-Cumberland | September 2018