Build a Bridge

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In this activity, learners use design thinking to design and build their own bridge out of household materials including adhesives and/or connectors. Learners are encouraged start with a foundation and think materials that would work best. Once the bridge is built, learners test how much weight it can hold, then try again to modify their design to hold more weight. Activity includes step-by-step instructions, a video demonstration, background info on design thinking, real world careers, and connections, suggested questions for caregivers to ask learners, and related children's books.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Suggested materials to use:
  • Cups- paper, styrofoam, plastic
  • Recyclables-toilet paper rolls, cardboard, egg cartons, old CDs
  • Adhesive- tape, glue, sticky tack
  • Connectors- pipe cleaners, rubber bands
  • Structural Materials-craft sticks, straws, chopsticks, pens, markers, dowels, silverware
  • Weight- toy car, coins, washers, etc.
  • Scissors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building
  • Transportation


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Amazeum YOU


  • All rights reserved, Scott Family Amazeum, 2021

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