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Briarcliff Middle School Students Take Walk Over Hudson

Briarcliff Middle School’s eighth-grade students connected history and science when they visisted the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie.
Briarcliff Middle School’s eighth-grade students connected history and science when they visisted the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie. Photo Credit: Briarcliff Union Free School District

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- A group of eighth-graders from Briarcliff Middle School learned some local history and made connections to their earth science and physics curricula during a recent trip to the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie.

“This is the second year that eighth-grade students have taken a fall walk across the bridge,” said science teacher Jodi Shearer. “The docents teach the students about the history of the bridge construction, how it was the first bridge to cross the Hudson River and make the transport of materials from Pennsylvania to New York so much easier.”

Following the 1.3-mile trek, the students had lunch at a restaurant between the Mid-Hudson Bridge and the Walkway, which allowed them to compare the two bridge designs.

While the history of the bridge also ties into their social studies curriculum, students focused on the connections with science in making their evaluations.

They also learned that it would have cost almost twice as much to tear down the original bridge as it cost to renovate it into a pedestrian walkway and state park.

“While strolling across the Walkway Bridge, the students could view the Mid-Hudson Bridge and its suspension design,” said Shearer. “Later this year, we will study physics and earth science and we'll refer back to what we saw at this historic landmark to make the learning more authentic."

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