Building bridges at home

Contribution by our science teacher Suneel Madahar

Homework is something that teachers give normally during school time. But when all work has become working at home, there is a real challenge to set science work that is actually scientific. Currently, with the MYP 1 students, we are studying forces. Although the school has got some fantastic equipment to investigate forces, our new circumstances mean that all our equipment has to be found inside our homes. A challenge indeed! For our bridges project, we were investigating how humans have to overcome and beat gravity. Bridges are designed to carry us over areas where we would normally fall and so have to be strong. Using only paper, and tape, the students had to design bridges that could hold as much weight as possible. But for our next problem: How can this all be explained to the students, and then try to get them to do this experiment at home safely? The first answer was simple. Recording a home lecture, I was able to explain all the rules, and safety guidelines to the students. They could then watch this video at their own pace. 

Using the simplest of materials, the students would then have to design, build, test and break apart their own bridges. But they would also have to video themselves to “prove” that they had done so! One of the things that I love about science, is relating what we learn in the “classroom” to the world around us. Real world science if you will. One thing that this pandemic has taught us is that not only can our own homes become classrooms, but also science laboratories too!