Bridging the Gap: Students solve January’s problem

By: 
Moses Kitts

Judith Gap students watch as pennies are added to a bridge constructed of toothpicks, marshmallows and dry spaghetti. The bridges must span 10 centimeters, and each was tested to see how much weight it would hold.

Photo courtesy of Annette Hart

This month’s problem of the month, “Bridge The Gap,” was on Thursday, the 26th. Every month, all of the Judith Gap students head down to the gym and split into groups to work on different problems and present them to the school.

The first level, our pre-k and kindergartners, had to build a structure with newspapers and masking tape that could support the weight of a beach ball. This was accomplished by rolling up newspapers and taping them together upright. Level two had the same task, but with a basketball instead of a beach ball. They used the same method as the first group, but with a slightly altered structure.

The middle and high school students, group three, had a completely different design to their problem. Each group had 50 marshmallows, 100 toothpicks, and a package of raw spaghetti noodles. Their task was to build a bridge that spanned a gap of 10 centimeters and had a poster board surface that could hold a number of pennies. Instead of a presentation, the rest of the students could watch as the builders of the bridge saw how many pennies their bridge could hold over the 10-centimeter gap. The weight the bridges could hold was compared to the overall weight of the bridge as a final result. The groups with enough leftover time also modified their bridges to span a 20-centimeter gap.

 

Moses Kitts is a student at Judith Gap.

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