PHOTO BY KEVIN HOGENCAMP
Ashley Prickett and her fifth-grade classmates in the gifted education program (L.I.F.E. Lab) culminated their bridge unit with the annual “Build’Em and Bust’Em” competition. The course of study involved the history of bridge-building as well as learning the three major classifications of bridges. Students formed construction companies whose task was to build a truss bridge according to specifications and within the $1.5 million budget. They had to design the bridge, purchase the land and lumber, pay taxes, employee insurance, settle any labor disputes and pay any fines associated with polluting the environment. On the day of the event, students voted on the strongest and weakest bridge prior to the competition. Their predictions were tested and the winning bridge companies were recognized.Certificates were also awarded to the students who built the best-looking bridge as well as the group that had the best accounting procedures.