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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Virtual Reality Technology


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Subject:   West Point Software
Author: jeuchler
Date: Mar 16 2003
On Mar 16, 2003, Susan Socha wrote:

What grade level are you teaching?  Also, tell more about West Point
software

I teach 11th grade Algebra 2 & 12th grade Trigonometry.

The Bridge Building project came out of a workshop at a NCTM conference, but we
ended up using it in our Principles of Technology class, which is 11th & 12th
grade. (I'm just not the instructor this year; just a "facilitator.")

Anyhow, the West Point Bridge Building software is a free download (PC only)
where a student studies sample truss bridge designs and then builds one
him/herself, with the cost of the brigde adding up in a sidebar while the bridge
is constructed onscreen. It can then be tested with a nice little animation of
trucks romlling over (or collapsing throough!) the bridge.

The software is available at

http://bridgecontest.usma.edu/

and I used it toward in the introduction to try and build a cable-stayed
bridge under, say, $50,000.

An old page of mine shows some of the resources I used at

http://www.mccanntech.org/teachers/jeuchler/bridge.html

I really feel you can cater this kind of project-based learning to 6th through
12th grade.



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