CCA's STEM students build model bridges in engineering workshop

Sean Connolly
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PHILADELPHIA – Commonwealth Charter Academy students today constructed model bridges as part of a statewide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workshop. Today’s workshop was held at the John Heinz Wildlife Preserve in Philadelphia.

Students learned how to identify types of bridges by their structural design, the importance of geometry and how it affects a bridge’s structure. Groups of students then used that knowledge to build their own bridges working with a series of options, hazards and structural oddities. The materials used included pipe cleaners, strings, plastic bottles and cups, toothpicks and glue and scotch tape. Students tested their bridges’ ability to withstand weight at the conclusion of the workshop.

“If you want to get the most out of this STEM movement, you have to tie it to invention and careers,” said Kurt Amen, conservatory manager at Commonwealth Charter Academy. “That's what CCA's conservatories are all about – giving kids experience solving real-world problems with career professionals.”

CCA’s conservatory program is holding the engineering workshops across Pennsylvania in an effort to help students learn about possible STEM careers for the future.

The following engineering workshops are scheduled:

• Tuesday, Oct. 4, CCA Family Service Center, 2100 Garden Drive, Seven Fields, PA 16046

• Wednesday, Oct. 5, York County 4H Center, 771 Stoverstown Road, York, PA 17408

• Thursday, Oct. 6, CCA Family Service Center, 195 Cold Spring Road, Andreas, PA 18211

• Friday, Oct. 7, CCA Family Service Center, 529 Scranton/Carbondale Highway, Dickson City, PA 18508



Founded in 2003, Commonwealth Charter Academy is a Pennsylvania public cyber charter school with year-round open enrollment. CCA is a family service organization with deep expertise in education and strives to deliver a personalized educational experience that engages the entire family, preparing learners to succeed in school and life. For more information, please visit

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