Spaghetti Bridge

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Learners explore the field of civil engineering by making a bridge using spaghetti as their primary building material. Then they test their bridges to see how much weight they can carry before breaking. This activity allows learners to engage in the entire engineering process as they design, build, test, then discuss their bridges. Resource includes investigating questions to extend learning. Time estimated for activity can be split across multiple meetings.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • glue gun
  • glue sticks, 1 package
  • various weights from 5lbs - 50lbs
  • large tub (or newspapers to spread out), to make clean-up easier
  • 2 tables (place one foot apart)
  • metal strip (to serve as the road)
  • chain (to hold the weights)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • K-12 Outreach Office, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Source Collection

  • TeachEngineering


  • All rights reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, 2013