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Bridging Disciplines

Connecting the Professional World to the Classroom


Yurkovich, K.M., Ramirez, J.A., Grier, M.C., and Krammer, E.
Werklund School of Education

Collaboration across disciplines


increases the likelihood that proposed
solutions will be effective (Strober, 2010)

Scenario
There has been a growing pressure by the City of Calgary to expand pedestrian infrastructure
and connect surrounding residential areas to the city core. Each group of students will be
contracted by the city to plan, design, build and negotiate a bridge proposal.
Throughout this project, each student will apply thinking theories to defend his or her bridge
proposal. This proposal will include a cost estimate, blueprints, habitat assessment with artist
rendition and a final model. The feedback loop garnered through stress tests, simulations, peer
reviews and elements of redesign that encourage a cyclical understanding of collaboration.

Rationale
It is important that student tasks contain an authenticity [and a sense] that the work being
done in classrooms is real work reflective of the living realities of the disciplines being taught
(WNCP, 2011). Our unit plan seeks to create a rich and engaging experience that mirrors four
career pathways. This first-hand experience coupled with the interwoven threads of design
within engineering, architecture, environmental and political science are at the forefront of
our pedagogical approach. In doing so, students will develop many of the key skills necessary
for twenty-first century learners, including the ability to think critically, identify and solve
problems, innovate and manage information, as well as identify and apply career and life
skills (Inspiring Education, 2010).

Bridge Cost Estimate


Oct 2 - 3; 29; (30-31)

Government Forum
Class Bridge Experiments

Bridge Design Blueprints

Model Bridge Creation

Government Forum Preparation

Sept 23-26

Sept 29 - Oct 7

Oct 8-23

Oct 28 - Nov 6

Professional Profiles

Bridge Scandal: Press Conference

Field Trip

Sept 25 - Oct 1

Oct 13-16

Oct 23

Famous Bridge Collage

Bridge Exercise Breaks

Sept 21-22

Sept 23, 25, 28

Nov 10
Present
Bridge Model
Bridge Design Blueprints
Bridge Architectural Render
Defend
Press Conference Results
Cost Estimate
City Bylaws
Opposition of Proposal
Professional Opinions

Bridge Habitat Architectural Rendering


Oct 26-28

Bridging Our Thoughts


Sept 21-Nov 10

Legend
Science

Visual Arts

Mathematics

Social Studies

Language Arts

Physical Education

Summative

Dramatic Arts

Assessment
Authentic Inclusive Learning
Visual Arts
Emphasize student interest and
strengths
Use as many visual supports as
practical
Focus on activities that
emphasize physical movement

ELL
Provide visual representations
of new vocabulary
Provided links for new
information to prior knowledge
Cooperative learning strategies
(i.e. working in small groups)

Technology
Auditory feedback through
talking word processors
Multimedia software to design
blueprints
Provide portable notetakers for
students with fine motor
difficulties

Famous Bridge Collage


Cost Estimates
Bridge Design Blueprints
Bridge Model
Bridge Habitat Artist Rendition
Government Forum

Learning Outcomes
Social Studies
Students will engage in active inquiry,
critical and creative thinking.
Students will engage in problem
solving and conflict resolution, with an
awareness of ethical consequences.

Formative
Bridging Our Thoughts journal
Bridge Scandal: Press
Conference
Peer-Review
Self-Evaluations
Student Checklists
Check-ins

Language Arts
Students will communicate to explore
thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Students will communicate to respect,
support and collaborate with others.

Mathematics
Demonstrate an understanding of
measuring length (cm) and mass (g).
Construct and compare the qualities of
various geometric shapes.

Science
Construct structures using a variety of
materials and designs and compare the
effectiveness of the materials.
Recognize that habitat preservation can help
maintain animal population and identify
actions to preserve habitats.

Visual Arts
Students will create an original composition
based on the elements and principles of
design.
Students will develop themes, with an
emphasis on manufactured or human-made
items.

Dramatic Arts
Students will accept role-playing as a positive
and engaging learning experience.
Student will understand and respond to
environmental factors.

References
Alberta Education. (2015). Programs of Study.

For more information


check out our website!
bridgeplan520.weebly.com

Government of Alberta. (2010). Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans.


Strober, M. H. (2010). Interdisciplinary conversations: Challenging habits of thought. Palo Alto, CA, USA:
Stanford University Press. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1hqcttA
Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education (2011). Guiding Principles for WNCP
Curriculum Framework Projects.