In this design challenge, students will learn about the history of westward expansion in the United States and the difficulties that migrants faced while traveling. Students will be presented with a scenario, which is crossing a river with all of their belongings, that many migrants faced when traveling west. The students will be presented with the following problem: In search of new beginnings, the Jacksons are on a journey to West Texas. However, they have come across a river that is too deep to cross with their wagon alone. The Jacksons must figure out how to get across the river to continue their journey. Students will put on their engineering hats to build a bridge that can safely deliver travelers across the river. Bonus points will be awarded to those who are able to add additional cargo to their wagon and successfully travel across the river.

Standards Alignment + Connections

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills

2021 Science TEKS covered in this design challenge

Grade 2 TEKS: 2.1.B, 2.1.E, 2.1.G, 2.2.D, 2.6.A, 2.6.C
Grade 3 TEKS: 3.1.B, 3.1.E, 3.1.G, 3.2.D, 3.6.D, 3.7.B
Grade 7 TEKS: 7.1.B, 7.1.E, 7.1.G, 7.2.D, 7.7.D
Grade 8 TEKS: 8.1.B, 8.1.E, 8.1.G, 8.2.D, 8.7.B

Social Studies TEKS covered in this design challenge

Grade 7 TEKS: 7.10.A
Grade 8 TEKS: 8.6.B

Math TEKS covered in this design challenge

Grade 2 TEKS 2.2.B, 2.4.A, 2.9.D
Grade 3 TEKS 3.4.A, 3.4.G