Bailey Loosemore, firstname.lastname@example.org
4:33 p.m. EST December 5, 2014
After weeks of designing and constructing bridges out of an unusual material, students in Bullitt County's Discovery School watched Thursday as their final products either held a bucket of rocks to test their strength — or collapsed under the weight.
Bullitt County Public Schools started the Discovery School program, located in Hebron Middle School, this year as a way to challenge sixth- through eighth-graders who are skilled in math and science. The program focuses on hands-on, project-based learning, like the spaghetti bridges, which taught students about engineering and teamwork.
The spaghetti project asked more than 20 groups of students to build a 50-centimeter bridge out of nothing but spaghetti and glue. The materials came with fake prices, and on Thursday, the bridges were tested for strength and cost efficiency.
Science teacher Devin Franklin said he is still determining which team had the greatest strength-to-cost ratio, but team Bacon Bridge's product held the most weight — 25 pounds.
"Doing a project like this, the benefit of it is it takes all the concepts we talk about in math and science class and makes them really tangible and hands-on," Franklin said. "We talk about the abstract, but suddenly students understand on a practical level what it is."
Reporter Bailey Loosemore can be reached at (502) 582-4646. Follow her on Twitter at @bloosemore.