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Building bridges with gumdrops is Building Better Minds in Chester

Posted at 8:14 AM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 08:24:02-04

CHESTER, Va. -- There are more than 21,000 bridges in Virginia. Most are made with concrete, steel, and innovation. But at the Chester Library in Chesterfield, bridge construction began with candy.

Matt Yakim and his VDOT team are here to teach five to 12-year-old kids about building bridges. While the students used gumdrops and toothpicks to build the small bridges, they used big engineering concepts to ensure the bridges were built with strength.

"We have to build them, so people can stay safe," Yakim said, "and get from one spot to another safely."

The libraries in Chesterfield County give kids an opportunity to learn a variety of subjects during the summer.

This day, the children got a lesson in engineering. They tested the strength of their bridges by piling on pennies.

For moms like Jessica Lynch, it was a great opportunity to keep her children's ’ minds active.

"They enjoy building with Legos," Lynch said. "We really limit how much computer time they have, so doing something like this where they can actually think and have to build (is great)."

"We want them to learn something about their bridges," Yakim added. "Maybe a new term or something about engineering or science."

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesdays at 6 a.m.