GATE students build bridges in Rowland Heights
Shelyn Elementary student Nathan Chung shows off the fancy suspension bridge he built in GATE program. (Photo by Gina Ward, courtesy of Rowland USD, Nov. 2013)
By Richard Irwin, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
POSTED: 11/20/13, 7:36 PM PST |
Maybe now we should call them the Golden GATE students. The Gifted and Talented Education students at Shelyn Elementary have spent the past several weeks studying bridges.
That included one of the world’s most famous structures, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. So it wasn’t unusual that several students chose to build their own tributes to the famous bridge that spans the bay.
To share their special projects, staff and students threw a bridge party. Forget the cards, this party focused on the model bridges the kids had constructed.
Some used fiberboard, some Popsicle sticks. Others fashioned cables from yarn, while another had little chains holding up the bridge.
All showed an advanced knowledge of structural engineering. The little engineers were putting the concepts they had learned to the test.
While Hot Wheels cars may not weigh as much as a real ones, they still offered a visual appreciation of the tiny bridge’s load-bearing abilities.
Several looked sturdy enough to support the students, though all were reluctant to overload their precious bridges.
Charlene Poons huge arch bridge certainly looked strong enough to support the 9-year-old.
“My mother bought 1,000 Popsicle sticks and I used almost all of them,” Charlene boasted. “I doubled up on the sticks because I wanted a strong bridge.”
Her approach ramps were a little steep, so Charlene’s dad suggested she add some steps.
Nathan Chung’s large suspension bridge featured brightly colored yarn as the suspension cables. The GATE student added a fiberboard pier in the center and towers on each end.
Other students made PowerPoint presentations for their projects. Erin Lu put together a nice one on the Golden Gate and London bridges.
“We even went to visit the bridges in San Francisco and Lake Havasu. My dad took many of my photos,” the 9 year-old explained.
Shelyn GATE teacher Pam Hessom said her students learned a lot in the bridge projects. Her class bought kits and other supplies with support from the FOR US and Shirley Kaufman foundations.