Build a Bridge

April 9, 2020

Bridges are everywhere we look. Ever wonder about bridge building and why bridges stay up?

Ethan Oxford introduces you to a fun activity where you can engineer and design your own bridge from materials you have a home.

Materials | Supplies

  • paper, stryofoam, plastic cups
  • recycled materials like paper rolls, egg cartons, cardboard, CDs
  • tape, glue, or other adhesive
  • chenille sticks, straws, craft sticks, dowels, plastic flatware
  • toy cars, coins, washers, rocks, etc. 
  • scissors

Concepts Explored

  • engineering
  • design thinking
  • architecture
  • forces and motion
  • problem solving

Discovery Starters

Describe your biggest challenge building a bridge? Why?

How did you find a solution?

How would your design change if you built your bridge on sand or water?

Do you think your bridge will hold up in the wind? How much weight can it hold?

Explore Further

Are the bridges you see in your town the same? 

Why do you think they are different? 

Challenge yourself to build a long or tall bridge. How does your thinking change?

Additional Resources

Engineer It!: Bridge Projects by Carolyn Bernhardt

Golden Gate Bridge by K.A. Robertson

The Suspension Bridge Building Project on PBS Kids

Amazeum YOU Activity Guide