Thursday, February 24, 2011

Build me a bridge!

PHOTO: One of the bridges.

Your Tongan word of the day: hala fakakavakava or bridge in English. I just finished a lesson on bridges with the older kids and they had such a great time that is worthy to have its own blog entry. It all started out when the head teacher had to go to town and I had to fill in time with a random science lesson. What did I come up with? Bridges!

Before constructing bridges, I first had to explain what a bridge is since almost all of the kids have never seen one before. They were so confused when I asked, "how does one get from one island to another island with a car?" I got anwers like, "take a boat" or "swim." Their assignment: make a bridge that is atleast one foot long with scotch tape and popsicle sticks. In addition, an empty can must be able to successfully "cross" over the bridge. Furthermore, whoever can build the strongest bridge wins a prize.

PHOTO: Another bridge.

I had set them loose and their creativity started to work. It was quite hilarious watching them trying to figure out how to build something that would allow a can to roll over it. One of the group eventually used the tape as a base support and placed the sticks on top. With enough tape it did work. It wasn't exactly the type of bridge I wanted them to make, but heck it was still a bridge.

PHOTO: Randomness from the activity.

All their bridges passed the "can" test, where we pretended a car was driving on top. For the ultimate test, we put weight on top of the bridges to see whose bridge is the strongest. We started using glue bottles as the weights, but we did not have enough since the bridges were so strong! We then resorted to blocks and anything we could find like screw drivers, nails, shells, and they still did not fall! WOW! In the end, we were having so much fun trying out how to "destroy" the bridges with whatever we could find. It definetly was a day not to forget.

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