How to Make a Strong Bridge With Popsicle Sticks

All buildings, towers and miniature wooden models rely on the strength of support beams to hold them upright. In addition to their functional role in supporting a structure’s weight and gravity forces, these support beams often take the shape of different geometric shapes, such as triangles or squares.

This project teaches children to build bridges that mimic these geometric shapes. It is a great way to teach them how to build structures that are strong and durable, while also engaging them in science and engineering.

1. Make a Truss Bridge

To build this type of bridge, you will need plain white craft glue, Popsicle sticks and binder clips. All of these supplies can be purchased at most craft stores.

2. Create the top and bottom cords

Spread glue on the flat side of one Popsicle stick. Position a second stick on the other half of the stick and use a binder clip to clamp the sticks in place while the glue dries. Repeat this pattern until you have four cords, two on the top and two on the bottom of your Popsicle stick.

3. Add a Brace at the top

Once the glue on your Popsicle stick is dry, place a brace on the top of the bridge. This will help to keep the Popsicle stick from sliding off of the deck.

4. Test the strength of your Popsicle stick bridge

When building a bridge, you should always test it to see how strong it is. Testing your bridge will help you to improve it over time. It will also allow you to find any weaknesses in the design that you can fix and improve upon in your next bridge building attempt.

5. Use a stronger wood

If you want your bridge to be stronger, consider using a sturdier type of wood than Balsa. This will give you more flexibility and allow the bridge to withstand more weight.

6. Glue Popsicle Sticks Together to Create Cords

To create the top and bottom cords of your bridge, glue Popsicle sticks together using plain white craft glue. Be sure to keep the cords straight and even as the glue dries – curves or wobbles will reduce the bridge’s strength.

7. Build Your Own Bridge

This fun activity can be done with kids of all ages. They can have fun experimenting with the strength of their Popsicle stick bridge and seeing how it holds up under heavy loads.

8. Build a bridge in a unique manner

To make your bridge more interesting, try making it in a unique way. This could be by using different color sticks, or adding a variety of textures to the bridge.

9. Use a different type of stick to make the trusses

If you are looking to add some whimsy and creativity to your Popsicle stick bridge, try a few different things. For example, you could try a bridge that is made from a different material than the other beams in your popsicle stick truss, such as paper or cardboard.