To do: Read a few facts about the Golden Gate Bridge then find a bridge in your neighborhood to check out
Time: 30 minutes
Materials: Facts below
One of the most well known bridges in America, and perhaps the world, is the Golden Gate Bridge!
We have a few facts about the bridge to help your child learn more and an activity to go along. Start by looking at these images of the landmark.
The Golden Gate Bridge crosses over the body of water that gave it its name, the Golden Gate Strait! The bridge connects the city of San Francisco in the south with Marin County in the north.
Why is this colorful bridge a national landmark? When it first opened, it broke records for being the world’s longest suspension bridge, and of course had all sorts of news coverage. Everyone was excited about the new bridge! Huge crowds showed up to first walk over the bridge, then drive their cars over in May, 1937.
It took just over four years to build the bridge, and while it was under construction, the architect Irving Morrow made an observation. He noticed that the steel of the bridge had been painted red to preserve it while being transported from the East Coast of the United States to the West. Morrow became inspired by this red paint and began doing research.
Rather than painting the bridge black or gray, Morrow thought this red-orange color would look better against the hills and sea surrounding the bridge. And everyone agreed with him! The color is officially called International Orange.
A great book explaining the history of how the Golden Gate Bridge became International Orange is called “This Bridge Will Not Be Gray”, by Dave Eggers. Check it out at your local library!
Now you can answer these questions as a family:
- How long did it take to build the Golden Gate Bridge?
- Why is it orange?
- What body of water does it cross?
Activity: Seek out a bridge in your town, one that you can walk over, and go exploring! Compare similarities and differences to the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Does the bridge in your town cross water or land?
- How many support columns does it have?
- Is it suspension or not?
For your older child, explore 5 main types of bridges: arch, beam, cable-stayed, suspension, and truss. A quick library or internet research project will yield a lot of information about these types of bridges! Choose the one that is most interesting to your child, and read about examples around the world.
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