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Brilliant bridges

Published: 9 July 2021

This year, Camelsdale Primary School in Surrey has taken part in a Lego Technic workshop and CPD, thanks to a grant from The Ogden Trust. The workshop and CPD provided inspiring lessons for Year 5 pupils, who had to use their newfound physics knowledge of forces, pulleys, levers and cogs for a memorable bridge building project.

In the past, the forces topic has been taught using quite simple equipment such as elastic bands, cardboard and split pins. But the children spoke, and they told their teachers and the school governors that they wanted more. The school secured a grant from the Trust and invested in Lego Technic sets and CPD for the teachers.

“I had not realised the hard work that goes into designing bridges.”
“I had not thought about the safety part of bridge building before!”

“The children had learnt about different types of bridges through their design and technology preparatory work,” explains headteacher Sarah Palmer. “We were even able to work (online) with a parent who is an architect and has been involved professionally in several well-known bridge projects. During our Lego Technic workshop, the children used their knowledge to design, build and test their own bridge. They selected the type of bridge they wanted to build and adapted their design to strengthen it. The children also learnt about where in the world these types of bridges can be found.”

A sample of a child's work on bridges

“The Lego has really helped to bring alive the physics in our science curriculum and in our design & technology curriculum,” explains the class teacher. “In Year 5 the children learnt this in a very hands-on way. The level of interest that was sparked will hopefully lead to future engineers and architects. It was a very powerful way to deliver this worthwhile project using the Lego and very much enjoyed by the children. The project also enabled us to work on good habits of mind – the skills of problem solving, resilience, teamwork, creativity, resourcefulness and communication. It is great to have this resource for future cohorts of children in the school too.”

lego bridge

If you are doing a project on bridges, why not look at our forces resources which include a longest bridges card sort game to help children with their understanding of scientific ideas over time.

Visit our resources page to find our forces resources.

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