This is an awesome STEM challenge for young kids and older ones too! Explore forces, and what makes a paper bridge strong. Fold that paper and test our your paper bridge designs. Which one will hold the most coins? We have tons more easy STEM activities for you to try!
HOW TO MAKE A PAPER BRIDGE
WHAT MAKES A PAPER BRIDGE STRONG?
Beam, truss, arch, suspension… Bridges vary in their design, their length and how they balance two main forces, tension and compression. Tension is a pulling or stretching force which acts outward and compression is a pushing or squeezing force, acting inward.
The goal is that there is no overall force to cause motion and do damage. A bridge will buckle if compression, the force pushing down on it, becomes too much; it will snap if tension, the force pulling on it, overwhelms. Depending on the purpose of the bridge, how much weight it will need to hold, and the distance it needs to cover, engineers can figure out which bridge is the best bridge.
ALSO CHECK OUT: Skeleton Bridge STEM Challenge
Take up the challenge and test your paper bridge designs. Which paper bridge design is the strongest? Fold your paper and see how many coins your paper bridge can hold before it collapses.
BUILD A STRONG PAPER BRIDGE
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Strong Paper Challenge
- Pennies (coins)
STEP 1: Place several books about 6 inches apart.
STEP 2: Fold the papers into different paper bridge designs.
STEP 3: Place the paper across the books like a bridge.
STEP 4: Test how strong your bridge is by adding pennies onto the bridge until it collapses.
STEP 5: Keep a record of how many pennies your bridge could hold before it collapsed! Which paper bridge design was the strongest?
MORE FUN STEM CHALLENGES
STRONG PAPER BRIDGE DESIGNS FOR KIDS
Click on the image below or on the link for more easy STEM projects for kids.