Unit 5: Real World Connection

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Bridge to Sicily

In 1860, Italian military hero Giuseppe Garibaldi wanted to tie the boot of Italy to the island of Sicily by having workers build a bridge across the Strait of Messina.

Garibaldi's vision might soon become reality.

Now, the only way to cross between Calabria, the “toe” of Italy, to eastern Sicily is by ferry. During the summertime, motorists who want to take their cars to the island have to wait up to 12 hours for space on the ferry.

The high cost of building the bridge, the fear of earthquakes, and environmental concerns have delayed construction for years.

The government estimates that it could take 11 years to build the 12,000-foot-long bridge, which has a projected cost of $4.5 billion.

Map of Italy

Word Wise

strait:
A narrow channel that connects two bodies of water. The ferry crossed the strait that separated the island from the main land.

concern:
Something of interest or importance: My main concern was improving my grade in science class.

delay:
To slow, stop, or prevent for a time: Rain delayed the soccer game.

project:
To predict, to tell in advance: I project that this paper will take me an hour to write.

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Activity

Prefixes, suffixes, and other word roots give some words their meanings. The word predict, for example, is made up of the prefix pre-, which means before, and the word root -ict, which means to say. Knowing this, what do you think the word predict means? Look up each of the four vocabulary words in the dictionary to find their word roots, if they have any. Write down any words you can think of that share a prefix, suffix, or word root with each vocabulary word.

Data Hunt

Draw a design for the Bridge to Sicily. Your bridge design must have the following features:

  • A repeated pattern of shapes
    • The pattern should continue for the length of the bridge. The design can be for one segment of the bridge.
  • Labeled dimensions
    • Label the lengths of all of the dimensions of the segment.
  • A plan for the entire bridge
    • How many segments will the bridge need to cross the Strait of Messina? What kind of material will it be made of? Why did you choose this material and design for your bridge?