Sticky Structures

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In this engineering/design/arts and crafts activity, learners design and build "platforms" or "bridges" that can hold weight, and test which glue makes the strongest structure. Before building, learners draw a picture of what they plan to build, showing details of how many popsicle/craft sticks and paperclips they will use for a structure capable of holding a 10 oz/300 gram can of soup.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 2 or 3 identical, unopened cans of soup or soda (about 10 oz/300 grams)
  • Popsicle/craft sticks (30 per structure)
  • Paperclips (10 per structure)
  • 2 or 3 kinds of glue (such as a glue stick, school or craft glue, homemade moo glue)
  • paper
  • pencil or pen


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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