Popsicle-stick Bridge Project Overview

The Reeves Middle School 6th Grade Mathematics-Science Team of Watters and Kardokus would like to spark students' interest for exciting careers in Science and Engineering through three challenging enrichment projects: Bridge-building, ballon cars, and raw egg packaging. While all students will learn and complete the math and science concepts of each project, the students will only be required to build 2 of the 3 projects. Students who wish to build all three projects can do so and will be rewarded with extra credit towards their end of course grade. 

While a few Math and Science class periods will be devoted to introduce the main concepts and review requirements, this bridge-building project primarily encourages students to browse and search for information to complete their project. This web page is devoted to giving them a starting point.

General Information: The bridge will be designed and built by the students out of inexpensive materials such as popsicle-sticks and white glue.  It will require the students to do a cost analysis of their project and to conceptualize how their completed project will look before having built it by drawing a scale model. The popsicle-stick bridge can be a fun and challenging activity.

Documents: Vocabulary, Math Vocab Wksht, Science Discussion Wksht,

Building a Popsicle-Stick Bridge

The goal: to build the strongest possible bridge to take a matchbox car, using wooden popsicle sticks.

Constraints:

  • The bridge must span a 40 cm gap
  • No more than 100 popsicle sticks may be used
  • The sticks can only be used whole or one half length
  • Only white glue may be used
  • Construction paper may be used to cover the deck only
  • The test load is applied to the top center section of the bridge
  • Bridge must be wide enough to permit a matchbook car pass through

Materials

You must draw, to scale, your completed design onto graph paper. Then, you need to use the information that your completed design provides and develop a projected cost and materials needed estimation. Follow this design "to the letter" and build your bridge from the following materials:

  • Popsicke Sticks - $1000.00 per stick
  • White Glue - $25,000 per bottle
  • Land to place bridge - $500,000.00
  • Marker pens - $50.00 ea
  • Clothespins - $50.00 ea

Building your bridge. Remember, you must:

  1. Use your blueprint.
  2. Use only the materials on the approved list (popsicle sticks, Elmer's glue).
  3. Use only those materials accounted for in your budget.
  4. Go here to see a project under construction for ideas (Note: This example is NOT how your bridge should be built. Follow constraints above.) 

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