This week was the 3rd and final week in our unit on bridges. After learning about the different types of bridges as well as various bridge-building principles, the kids were challenged to build a bridge that spans 42 cm that could hold the maximum weight.
Each kid/team was given 25 straws, masking tape, and 1 m of fishing string, and about an hour to build their dream bridge. There was a quite a range of diversity including beam bridges, suspension bridges, and truss bridges. There wasn't too much in the way of arch bridges given the limitations of straws as a building material. However, many kidsused what they learned about buttresses to strengthen their bridges and columns.
Personally, I think the kids just like saying "buttress."