The project „bridging gaps“ is a research project, which involves (pre)school children in the analysis of bridge lifecycle, cost, planning, periodical inspection and maintenance by taking the age and education level of the (pre)school children in to account. Furthermore, the project includes the concept of social bridging, where this concept will be worked out with the children in accordance with their levels of (pre)school classes.
Bridging Social Differences
In the first part of the project, a study related to the lifecycle and maintenance optimization of bridges will be performed. Maintenance alternatives can be compared using information available from inspections. Visual inspection is the most practically used method in bridge condition assessment. Therefore, besides integrating lifecycle thinking and working on the concept together with children, this research deals with the development of an application for tablets and smartphones that can support bridge inspection. On the other hand, the project reflects the symbolic meaning of bridging social differences with (pre)school children. This is done by for example making the level of education and/or origin/background subjects of discussions. This enables to illustrate how sustainability can be supported by bridging social gaps as well as constructively processing and integrating them in to our culture. The challenges of social bridging and the possibilities for better social inclusion will be identified and demonstrated by means of culture and gender sensitive didactic (Anti-Defamation League 2002) and by orientation of “inclusive pedagogy” (Boban/Hinz 2013). Both aspects: (i) the development, testing and documentation of the new method for an integrated bridge inspection and working out the cost analysis, and (ii) social bridging will be presented for interested school children, parents, relatives and teachers by means of exhibition, theater play, “sustainability quiz” which are planned to be held under the framework of the project.