Thursday, October 11, 2012


Living in a city which can be identified with A Bridge, and having recently spent a pleasant morning with Yoshi and Lucy crossing it, it occurred to me that bridges might make a fine introduction to our engineering studies.

A quick browse on Amazon led me to a Kaleidoscope Kids Book - Bridges! Amazing Structures to Design, Build and Test. It's always something of a gamble, buying on the basis of online reviews, and I always open my Book Depository packages with a little trepidation because of that, but in this case all is well.

With chapters covering everything from Bridge-Building Basics to Bridges of the Future, this book is jam packed with info and experiments, with a whole lot of interesting cross-curricular facts thrown in as well. Kids are encouraged, for example, to reflect on a Leonardo da Vinci quote: An arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning on each other, become a strength.

I'm personally looking forward to making concrete in the double boiler. Tomorrow, however, we're starting in at the beginning with Pile it On, where we test for the strongest shapes in bridge building using hardcover books - the poor Shorter Oxford, it always gets used for these kind of things, plus flower pressing, rarely word-checking! - a stack of paper, paper clips, ruler, glue and scissors.

The instructions and pictures are clear, the reflection questions look helpful...look out for photos of our bridge experiments tomorrow!


  1. My brother-in-law was a combat engineer in the U.S. Army. His job? Building bridges!

    When he transitioned to Drill Sergeant, I actually got to see Privates in action, building one of those bridges. It was amazing to think they can build a temporary structure out of metal so quickly, and disassemble, move, and rebuild it as needed!

  2. Oooo, can't wait to see the pics.
    Sounds like a blast!