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First Grade Engineering Challenge

Have you heard the story of the Brooklyn Bridge? The book, Twenty One Elephants and Still Standing, tells the tale of the construction of the famous landmark, and inspired a fun engineering activity for our First Graders.

The story goes that once the bridge was completed many people were intimidated by its size, worried about its strength and questioned how long it would hold. The books tells the story of how P.T. Barnum, planned a circus in Brooklyn and marched 21 of his elephants through Manhattan and across the bridge to Brooklyn to test its strength in 1883.

On their first day of school, after reading the book, Mrs. Long challenged her First Graders “Can you make a bridge strong enough to hold twenty one elephants?” The girls were assigned the task to make the bridge using a limited number of materials: cups, popsicle craft sticks, and blocks. Mrs. Long gave the girls twenty one cubes to use as elephants and all twenty one elephants had to be able to fit on their bridge.

“This was a great community building task,” said Mrs. Long. “The girls really had fun and were creative.”

Check out all the different bridges the girls built!

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