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Building a bridge for learning at The Gilbert School

02 Feb, 2021
Building a bridge for learning at The Gilbert School

Debra LaRoche Walls, Dean of Admissions at The Gilbert School, reports back on a recent Physical Science project that Kings student Ben, from Vietnam, has been taking part in. Ben has been studying at The Gilbert School since September 2020.

Ben Nguyen, a 9th grade student from Vietnam, has a grade of 103 in Mr. Cooke’s Physical Science class. When you ask Ben about this class, he lights up with excitement. That’s because Mr. Cooke makes learning Physical Science fun and interesting.

Each Monday morning, Mr. Cooke’s 9th grade Physical Science students receive a motivating email that is filled with positive, motivational messages to begin the student’s week. The email can contain videos, posters, along with words of encouragement, all to make science classwork hands on and exciting.

This past week, due to the remote learning scenario, each 9th grader was given their own package, put together by Mr. Cooke, so they could build a bridge at home. The students received instructions and supplies to complete the project. They received full credit for building the bridge and received extra credit for getting the bridge back to school early Thursday morning to be tested in front of the virtual crowd.

Students were to virtually engineer bridges from an online learning platform called Whitebox Learning. The students were to test different variables on the trusses and decks of a bridge. The lesson was to learn the importance of understanding how the forces of tension, compression, and gravity (the weight or load) plays a role in the engineering of a bridge. According to Mr. Cooke, students made multiple iterations to their bridges and then tested them virtually by driving monster trucks over their bridges.

After completing their projects, students were to take a selfie and send them to Mr. Cooke. Ben was very proud to share his selfie and his completed bridge. He also wants you to know that he was smiling behind his mask. He was very proud of himself for what he learned and the outcome of his bridge.

This is one of the many ways through project-based learning that students of The Gilbert School practice critical thinking skills while introducing both engineering and design loop. Great job to both Mr. Cooke and Ben Nguyen!

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