We went to a fun class on Bridges at the National Building Museum this morning. Definitely learned that we should take the metro next time (parking at some places downtown (in Washington DC) is fairly easy to find…not so for the NBM!) But we made it luckily. Jason really enjoyed it, Kyle was a bit bored until they got to the hands on building stuff. Which makes sense since it was Jason who was technically signed up for it (it was for older elementary age) but they let Kyle hang out since they had room.

They had models of different types of bridges that Jason enjoyed playing around with…you could, for example, take down the "ropes" of a suspension bridge and see how that affected stability. They also had lots of infomation about the pros and cons of each kind of bridge and the types of locations you might find the different types of bridges.

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Then they (their group) were given a scenario from which they needed to determine the best type of bridge, design and build it using the recycled materials provided. They then had to present their bridge to the rest of the class and test how many bricks it could hold.

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All in all a fun 2 hours (for a mere $5!). We had never been to the NBM and I have to say that it is a very impressive building…I had a lot of fun taking pictures.

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The pillars were monsterous! The boys liked to look straight up them to see if the would get dizzy.

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A definite perk to living where we do…a wealth of great homeschool activities. And on the way home we kept picking out the different types of bridges we saw (not hard leaving DC for Virginia!) We spotted many plank bridges, a couple of arch bridges and even a couple of truss bridges. I had never really paid that much attention and it was pretty neat to see how many were around us.

~Stephanie

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