The Golden Gate Bridge
A lesson incorporating history, math, and engineering concepts based on the Golden Gate Bridge and other engineering marvels.

Today’s Activities

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Engage

Watch “The Golden Gate: Building an Impossible Bridge”

What did you learn about the Golden Gate Bridge that you never knew before?

What did you find the most amazing or interesting?

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Explore

Using the video  “The Golden Gate: Building an Impossible Bridge” and  Golden Gate Bridge: Doing the Math, write a brief essay explaining what makes the Golden Gate bridge so impressive, especially for its time. How did it differ structurally from other notable bridges of the same time period?

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Explain

The statistics about the Golden Gate Bridge are astonishing. Compare these numbers to things you are familiar with in everyday life. For instance, figure out how many times you would have to walk across the football field at school to cover the length of the main span. Research the impressive bridges in Tuolumne County, compare their lengths and heights to that of the Golden Gate Bridge. Convert the tonnage of the Golden Gate to pounds. Think of how many of a particular thing that amounts to and put into context. (A car, school bus, your Uncle Earl, etc…)

Here are some pictures I took recently of the bridge from different angles. Think about the mainline and angle relationships you have learned about in geometry. How many examples of these relationships do you see in this real-life example? How about shapes that are formed by algebraic functions? Make a list of what you notice and share amongst friends to see who can point out the most stuff.

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Elaborate

Pick an engineering marvel that interests you, or pick one from the following: 

Create a PowerPoint with images and information to share with class online that explains what makes the structure so impressive or special.

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Extend

Research a topic such as bridges or skyscrapers and create a timeline of the largest constructed in the US or the world.

Research all the professions involved in building a bridge and list them. What is the training and education needed for these jobs? For example engineer, architect, steelworker, riveter, etc. Do any of them interest you? How would you feel working at a job site with such dangerous conditions?

Explore the Stevenot Bridge here in Tuolumne County. Impressive in its own right

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