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Paper Bridges


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    The Exploratorium

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Paper Bridges

In this activity, learners build bridges using paper and explore how much weight each bridge design can support. There is an element of surprise, which increases learners' interest in the physics, when they discover just how strong they can make this seemingly flimsy material. This lesson guide includes background information, discussion questions, demonstration ideas and extensions.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model

Language:
English, French, Italian

Materials List (per group of students)


  • 5 sheets of paper
  • Box of large paper clips
  • Small weights, including pennies, film canisters filled with sand, etc.
  • Yardstick or meterstick
  • 1 scale (optional)

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories


  • Model Building

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Source Collection:

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, The Exploratorium, ©2000

Funding Source:

  • Unisys

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