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Cottage Elementary visits Sacramento State to learn about bridges and engineering

Photo of Cottage Elementary students smiling at the desks on campus of Sacramento State. More than 60 students from Cottage Elementary School visited an Engineering Bridge-Building event at Sacramento State hosted by its Tau Beta Phi Engineering Honor Society last month. The goal of the event was to inspire students to get involved in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.


The 64 students, a makeup of third graders through fifth graders, were invited to this pilot program by the engineering society in the beginning of the year to show elementary-aged students some exciting concepts and possibilities related to engineering and STEM disciplines.


Upon arrival, the students toured the university’s campus before going into a lecture hall to learn about the many different types of bridges and how they are built. After a break for lunch, the students gathered into small groups to build small-scale bridges out of popsicle sticks.


The students were excited to learn there were more types of bridges than they had thought.


“It was fun to build popsicle stick bridges and make them stable. We used triangles to build them because it’s the strongest shape,” said third grader Jeremy More.


“The program had a big impact on kids. They were excited from the moment we left campus to when we came back. [The students] were so eager to share every little thing about [their experiences],” said the principal of Cottage Elementary, Karen Mix. “Our Cottage kids showed incredible grit and growth mindset in listening and learning these very challenging concepts, which led them to build an amazing bridge. I am so proud of them.”