Two to four 45-minute class periods
Whether the task is reinforcing a bridge or building a tower, the
Cyberchase kids use mathematics and problem-solving
strategies to solve the toughest problems. Cyberchase
is a daily, animated adventure TV series on PBS Kids that engages
8 to 11-year-olds in the fun and challenge of mathematics. In this
lesson, students will view clips from the Cyberchase
episode "Modeling Behavior" to examine the usefulness
and applications of creating models. They will then create their
own models to solve a problem of a scientific nature: making a bridge
that won't collapse.
Students will be able to:
- Describe techniques helpful in solving spatial problems which
utilize the notion that a model is a simplified version of something
- Describe that models can be used to easily and safely understand
how something works;
- Utilize methods such as sketching or drawing possible solutions
to a problem;
- Create a model requiring specific dimensions and materials.
From the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards, available online
- Representations: To use representations to model and interpret
physical, social and mathematical phenomena.
- Geometry: To use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric
modeling to solve problems.
- To analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three-
dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments
about geometric relationships.
Cyberchase #122: Modeling Behavior
the Cyberchase Kids
Students have the opportunity to learn about the primary characters
appearing in Cyberchase.
Bridge: Build a Bridge
Teachers may consult this site for additional information to enrich
their basic understanding of bridge building.
Super Bridge: Beam Bridges
Teachers may also use this site as an additional source on building
other types of bridges.
For the class:
- Manila folders (See "Prep for Teachers" on next
page for further information.)
- Hole punch
- Several boxes of paper fasteners (1/2-inch)
- Several boxes of wooden stirrers (preferably the small type)
- Several bottles of glue
- Several rolls of pennies
- Several centimeter rulers
- Paper towels
- Plastic Bags