The Bridge Project exposed students to
many of the processes required to research,
design, and construct an actual bridge.
The inspiration for the Bridge Project came during a 1996 National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics regional conference in South Bend, Indiana. At the conference
a geometry teacher presented a session on how he used bridge building to teach
mathematical concepts. Leslie Texas, who was present at the session, thought
the project could be adapted to her Physics classes. When she first launched
the project Ms. Texas took advantage of a unique opportunity in her community.
The city of Louisville was exploring the possibility of adding a bridge across
the Ohio River and was accepting proposals from engineering firms for a design.
As part of the Bridge Project, students from Ms. Texas' classes submitted design
proposals to the Louisville Planning Board. Ms. Texas continued to use the Bridge
Project for four more years, each year adding to the complexity and duration
of the work. Students received credit for Physics and English 11 or 12, and
the Bridge Project met a variety of Kentucky's Learning Goals and Academic Expectations.