Step 1: Design Your Bridge

There are many ways to build bridges, both real bridges and popsicle stick bridges. Do some research, be creative, and remember - triangles are strong.
A triangle spreads out weight and is much more stable than a simple rectangle or square support. Be sure to incorporate lots of triangles into your bridge design. More popsicle sticks doesn't necessarily mean a stronger bridge.

In fact, according to the internet, "If there is a single most important shape in engineering, it is the triangle. Unlike a rectangle, a triangle cannot be deformed without changing the length of one of its sides or breaking one of its joints. In fact, one of the simplest ways to strengthen a rectangle is to add supports that form triangles at the rectangle's corners or across its diagonal length. A single support between two diagonal corners greatly strengthens a rectangle by turning it into two triangles."[link]

My design consists of two main bottom supports, and two across the top, and then a lot of triangles across the sides, the top and bottom, and going from the bottom of one side to the top of the other. Very similar to the one in the diagram.

Draw your design on paper, and estimate the number of sticks you will need.
Be creative with your design!
<p>how long is the bridge?</p>
<p>I am going to try it</p>
<p>Awesome idea! I am looking for ideas for our popsicle stick birdge for our group in the STEM unit we have! This really helps! </p>
<p>im making it</p>
<p>How about using a glue gun for steps 3-5? It dries faster!</p>
But it won't stick as wet as wood glue.
Yah I know
<p>i did it</p>
<p>how much weight can it hold?</p>
<p>do you think it'll work with 100?</p>
Nope maybe 200
I'm going to make it!
<p>Mine held 492 lbs! Anyone held that much?</p>
<p>i have held 900lbs</p>
<p>MMMM Omg stop ur lyinnn</p>
<p>try it again</p>
It held 5lbs.
<p>I have made this, it kinda worked.... But it is not that strong</p>
How do you test it? What are the equipments? What is that block on the top of the bridge?
<p>Which bridge design do you think is the best to hold to most weight? Or is it rather the complexity of the bridge that holds a lot of weight?</p>
<p>try a combination of different types of bridges.</p>
<p>Still some free shovacado!</p>
<p>free shavocado!</p>
<p>And all credit to this is maker if i win Thanks for the idea!</p>
<p>Is anyone else doing this?</p>
<p>I am gonna make this in toothpicks i hope it woks</p>
What makes the bridge contain a ton of weight?
<p>I just did our school's annual Busta Bridge Competition - I am the reigning champ, and have been for 2 yrs. since i started doing this</p>
<p>I need to make a bridge of physics!!! Now i have an idea of what i can do.</p>
<p>how long did your bridge become? </p>
<p>Thanks for this project. Its working out great so far!</p>
<p>Is it ok to use ordinary glue? and What are those gray things on the side of the bridge to hold it up?</p>
<p>how much did your bridge weight</p>
<p>Is it okay to use ordinary glue?</p>
<p>AWESOME thats really cool! also congrats nicholas</p>
<p>wow this is nice but i would appreciate a video of how you did it or a more detailed one.</p><p>this isn't bad its awesome !!!!!</p>
<p>This project was so awesome when I entered it in the science fair that I won 1st place and won a $100 Visa Gift Card. Yay</p>
<p>Cool design! I'm doing this for class and this would probably work super well! Thanks for the tips and info.</p>
<p>Ty! I got a perfect score because of this! </p>
<p>Thank you for this good instructions.</p>
<p>nice 1 this will help me alot..........</p>
<p>Thank you for this wonderful instructable!!</p>
I am a science/tech teacher and my kids loved this. I had the students draw blueprints prior to building the bridge. Instead of pop sticks, I used balsa wood. This is by far the best project of the year!
I'm so glad you found it so useful! Post pictures of the bridges!
what is the silver thing you used to test your bridge? What's it called and where can I find one?
<p>I could be wrong, but that &quot;silver thing&quot; looks like a slotted aluminum extrusion. They can be found here: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1302, but I'm sure you could probably find them somewhere else with a quick Google search</p>
its just a deck of cards

About This Instructable




Bio: Ask me questions. I know the answers.
More by drinkmorecoffee:15 Minute Bamboo Easel Homeschool Science 6 Cent LED Throwie 
Add instructable to: