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bridge building lesson plan

Bridge Building Lesson Plan

Learning Objectives:  Students are introduced to one of the many careers that they can pursue through mathematics.

5 minutes:

Brainstorm – why is mathematics useful for engineering? What kinds of jobs do engineers do? (refer to maths careers site – a large number of well paid jobs are in engineering)

5 minute

Watch Youtube video interviewing 3 young structural engineers:

5 minutes:

Use the bridge building game to discuss strategies.

5 minutes:

Discuss the different types of bridge structures – plain bridge, arch bridge, suspension bridge. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of these? Brief discussion about force dissipation – which shapes do this well?

5 minutes:

Set up the challenge – each group must build a bridge to span a 1 metre gap. The bridge must be wide enough to support a weight and the stronger the better! Resources are: straws, newspaper, sellotape. Sellotape and newspaper are free – but straws are 1000B a straw. How cheaply can a design be made?

10 minutes:

Students start to plan their bridges.  Watch Youtube video about what happens when bridge design goes wrong:

40 minutes:

Building the bridge.

10 minutes:

Weight testing!

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IB Maths Exploration Guide

IB Maths Exploration Guide

A comprehensive 63 page pdf guide to help you get excellent marks on your maths investigation. Includes:

  1. Investigation essentials,
  2. Marking criteria guidance,
  3. 70 hand picked interesting topics
  4. Useful websites for use in the exploration,
  5. A student checklist for top marks
  6. Avoiding common student mistakes
  7. A selection of detailed exploration ideas
  8. Advice on using Geogebra, Desmos and Tracker.

Available to download here.

IB Exploration Modelling and Statistics Guide


IB Exploration Modelling and Statistics Guide

A 60 page pdf guide full of advice to help with modelling and statistics explorations – focusing in on non-calculator methods in order to show good understanding. Includes:

  1. Pearson’s Product: Height and arm span
  2. How to calculate standard deviation by hand
  3. Binomial investigation: ESP powers
  4. Paired t tests and 2 sample t tests: Reaction times
  5. Chi Squared: Efficiency of vaccines
  6. Spearman’s rank: Taste preference of cola
  7. Linear regression and log linearization.
  8. Quadratic regression and cubic regression.
  9. Exponential and trigonometric regression.

Available to download here.

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