This is an awesome STEM challenge for young kids and older ones too! Explore forces, and what makes a spaghetti bridge strong. Get out the pasta and test our your spaghetti bridge designs. Which one will hold the most weight? We have tons more easy STEM activities for you to try!
SPAGHETTI BRIDGE PROJECT FOR KIDS
HOW STRONG IS SPAGHETTI?
What makes a pasta bridge strong? Your spaghetti noodles are under certain forces when they are holding weight; compression and tension.
Let’s look at how a bridge works. When cars drive over a bridge, their weight pushes down on the bridge surface, causing the bridge to bend slightly. This puts the forces of tension and compression on the materials in the bridge. Engineers have to design the bridge to make sure it is strong enough to handle these forces.
What spaghetti bridge design will hold the most weight? Get our free printable STEM challenge project below and test out your ideas today!
SPAGHETTI STRENGTH EXPERIMENT
- Spaghetti noodles
- Rubber bands
- Stack of books
- Paper clip
STEP 1: Poke two holes in your cup and connect with your string.
STEP 2: Bend your paper clip and attach to your string so it holds the weight of your cup.
STEP 3: Create two stacks of books that are high enough to keep your cup off the ground.
STEP 4: Place one uncooked spaghetti noodle across the gap between your stack of books and then attach your cup to it. Is a piece of spaghetti strong enough to hold the weight of the cup?
STEP 5: Now add one marble at a time and observe the spaghetti. How many marbles did it hold before breaking?
STEP 6: Now gather together 5 strands of spaghetti and attach them with rubber bands. Repeat the same experiment. How many marbles can it hold now?
MORE FUN STEM CHALLENGES
Straw Boats Challenge – Design a boat made from nothing but straws and tape, and see how many items it can hold before it sinks.
Spaghetti Marshmallow Tower – Build the tallest spaghetti tower that can hold the weight of a jumbo marshmallow.
Paper Bridges – Similar to our strong spaghettti challenge. Design a paper bridge with folded paper. Which one will hold the most coins?
Paper Chain STEM Challenge – One of the simplest STEM challenges ever!
Egg Drop Challenge – Create your own designs to protect your egg from breaking when it is dropped from a height.
Strong Paper – Experiment with folding paper in different ways to test its strength, and learn about what shapes make the strongest structures.
Marshmallow Toothpick Tower – Build the tallest tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks.
Penny Boat Challenge – Design a simple tin foil boat, and see how many pennies it can hold before it sinks.
Cup Tower Challenge – Make the tallest tower you can with 100 paper cups.
Paper Clip Challenge – Grab a bunch of paper clips and make a chain. Are paper clips strong enough to hold weight?
SPAGHETTI BRIDGE DESIGN CHALLENGE FOR KIDS
Click on the image below or on the link for more fun STEM challenges for kids.