Spaghetti Bridge

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Play with your food while learning about engineering! Build a spaghetti bridge, then test its strength by piling on the marshmallows, raw spaghetti, raw linguine and coins. Investigate the difference between the strength of bridges made from flat and round building materials (spaghetti is round, while linguine is flat). Learn by doing that circles are among the strongest shapes in nature, and that external and internal stress distributes itself evenly throughout a round structure. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 8 marshmallows
  • 18 pieces of raw spaghetti
  • 4 pieces of raw linguine (spaghetti and linguine should be same diameter)
  • 1 paper clip
  • 1 envelope and a scissors (to make hanging basket for coins)
  • approximately 40 coins
  • paper and pencil to record observations


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • touch


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience


  • All rights reserved, New York Hall of Science, 1999

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension