Market Overview

PASCO Introduces Complete STEM Bridge-Building Kit to Help Students Learn and Apply Engineering Concepts


The Building Better Bridges Kit allows students to build, test, and
redesign their structures quickly and efficiently to support the
engineering process

Building bridges is a staple STEM activity and a fun competitive event,
but what do students actually learn? The real lessons of STEM are in the
design-test-redesign cycle. Yet, with traditional bridge-building
activities using materials such as toothpicks or popsicle sticks,
students often don't get the opportunity to accurately measure tension
and compression or to redesign and rebuild their bridges after they
break during testing. To help students learn how bridges really work
while applying real-life engineering design concepts, PASCO®
has introduced the Building
Better Bridges Kit

The Building Better Bridges Kit provides engaging, intuitive, and
lasting lessons about the construction of bridges. Based on PASCO's
successful Structures
, the kit uses flexible I-beams, connectors, and truss screws
to allow students to quickly assemble simple trusses and bridges. With
the new Wireless
Load Cell
included in the kit, students can measure forces under
tension or compression anywhere on their structure and see the results
in real-time with PASCO software.

To accompany the kit, PASCO offers free, downloadable lab activities
that take students from basic concepts of tension and compression forces
to working structures. With these activities, students can investigate
forces in equilibrium, internal forces, moments in equilibrium, and the
strength of a truss member, and they can engage in hands-on truss

"Traditional bridge-building activities are usually just contests to see
how much weight each bridge will hold before it breaks, and there's no
discussion about why some designs succeed and others fail. By pairing
the Building Better Bridges Kit with these activities, teachers can make
them more meaningful by helping students first discover the engineering
principles that they can then transfer to their toothpick, popsicle
stick, or balsa wood bridges," said Tom Hsu, chief product officer for
PASCO. "Using the Building Better Bridges Kit, students can build
bridges that behave like the real thing. When a load is applied, they
can examine which parts of the bridge are under tension or experiencing
compression. After testing, they can redesign their structures and test
them again, which is important for their learning."

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