Building Bridges

Building Bridges

This easy at-home STEM activity for kids is a great way for children to engage with science in a fun way that is hands-on and entertaining!

Have you ever wondered how important structures get built? Who designs them? Who decides how to build them, or what to build them with? An architect might design a structure and construction workers might build it, but civil engineers watch the entire process to make sure that the materials, math, and design make sense. In this activity, practice being a civil engineer by building your own bridge. Experiment with materials and designs to see what makes the best bridge.

  1. Arrange the two stacks of books so that they are about a foot apart. The challenge: build a bridge across the stacks of books that can both reach across the gap and hold the weight of cars traveling across – pennies!
  2. Set a goal for your bridge – should it have to hold 10 pennies without collapsing? 25? 
  3. Start building. Experiment with different shapes and materials. Do this with a friend or build two bridges of your own so that you can make a prediction about which will hold more pennies.
  4. Test it out by placing pennies one by one onto the bridge
    • Did it meet your goal? Was your prediction correct?
    • How much weight can it hold before it collapses or tears? 

  • How do you think you could improve this bridge design so that it could hold even more pennies? Do you need to change the material or the design?
Click here to download the PDF to exploring concepts of building bridges from Kazoom Kids Science Zone. 

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