Mrs. Nichols’ fifth grade class finished out the year in the MakerSpace with a fun cross-curricular that combined both engineering and art.

When Mrs. Nichols and Mrs. Garrity began their planning, they first reflected on the success of an earlier bridge-building project with Mrs. Greenhalgh’s class. While it was important to integrate both engineering principles and design elements, they decided to make a few strategic adjustments. “We felt it was important to revise the criteria to add another layer of complexity and difficulty,” says Nichols. “That is how we decided on a drawbridge challenge.”


Instead of a bridge that allows the boat to pass underneath, the challenge parameters required a boat the height of 10 inches to pass through a bridge no taller than 6 inches above the water. “This really had the students thinking outside the box to adapt their bridges,” said Nichols.

In addition, students had to collaborate in order to achieve a final working bridge that incorporates two elements of design ( balance, proportion, perspective, movement, etc.) and two principles of design (colors, texture, etc.).

Special thanks to Mrs. Garrity, the Lower School art teacher, for including the instruction and guidance with the art portion of the project!