3501 S Roosevelt Blvd
Key West, FL 33040
Thanks to a generous grant from the William R. Kenan Jr Charitable Trust the children of the Keys can participate in a workshop that commemorates Henry Flagler’s epic project, the Overseas Railroad. Constructing a railroad across 128 miles of rock islands and open water has tremendous applications for teaching science, technology, and engineering to children. The processes used to dredge, lift, transport and construct this engineering marvel were designed specifically for the Overseas Railroad. Studying the engineering practices of Flager’s principle engineer and seasoned bridge builder Joseph Caroll Meridith will help students understand how the Seven Mile Bridge was built with its 546 foundation piers resting on bedrock 28 ft below the water line. What many people don’t know is that there were several styles of bridges used to build the railroad that spans the waterways from Homestead to Key West. Local children traveling to school everyday look at these structures in awe. Connecting the puzzle pieces and answering questions about what types of bridges were used is the objective of this workshop. Students throughout Southern Florida have all been affected by Flagler’s influence on the development of the Sunshine state. Sharing his accomplishments and legacy helps us better understand our past and plan our future.
Let your child test their engineering genius by building bridges from unlikely tools such as duct tape, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners. To add an element o excitement to the day, there will be a competition to see who can build the sturdiest bridge.