Build a Strong Paper Bridge: Fun STEM Activity for Kids


Youngsters of all ages can have enjoyable exploring this STEM exercise of three alternative ways to construct a bridge out of paper. As soon as they’ve constructed a paper bridge from frequent home goods, they are going to take a look at every paper bridge for energy to search out out what’s the greatest paper bridge design. This bridge constructing science exercise is an effective way to get your children serious about bridge constructing at residence or within the classroom.

Let’s see who can construct the strongest paper bridge!

Construct a Paper Bridge

Let’s take a couple of minutes and take a look at three varieties of paper bridge design and the way properly every sort of paper bridge holds pennies. Constructing a robust paper bridge doesn’t require as a lot focus or consideration to element as you may suppose! Actually, with the appropriate design, it may be fairly easy.

Let’s discover what forces and associated bridge design is required to make a robust paper bridge after which take a look at every of the bridges with a penny problem.

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Supplies Wanted

3 Paper Bridge Design Instructions

Building Paper Bridges materials needed - a piece of construction paper, two red cups and some pennies to test strength
Let’s take a look at out a strip bridge first!

#1 – The way to Construct a Single Strip Bridge

The primary DIY bridge you may create is a single strip bridge. It’s the easiest of the youngsters bridge design concepts and units the stage for a way easy modifications in design could make massive impression in relation to holding weight within the testing section.

Step 1

Take a strip of development paper 11 inches lengthy and set it on two upside-down purple cups.

You will have simply a few inches between the cups.

Building Paper Bridges - testing the strip bridge design with weight of pennies.  Only one penny was able to be held on this DIY bridge.
Our strip bridge didn’t become very robust…

Step 2

As soon as the strip is in place take a look at the energy by including one penny at a time.

Our Strip Bridge Outcomes

This bridge solely held one penny. When a second penny was added to the bridge it completely collapsed.

The youngsters decided that the sort of bridge simply wasn’t very steady.

Building Paper Bridges - this collapsed oval paper bridge design is shown with a handful of pennies on top
DIY Collapsed Oval Bridge Design is subsequent to be constructed and examined…

#2 – The way to Construct a Collapsed Oval Bridge

Subsequent let’s make a folded collapsed oval bridge design. It will get its title from what the ends of the bridge appear to be. In case you appeared on the finish of the bridge design, it might be flat on the underside and concave on the highest.

Step 1

Take a chunk of development paper and fold the edges down and again on itself in order that it’s nonetheless 11 inches lengthy, however that the width of the paper might be taped collectively. Folds on either side to determine an roughly inch excessive edge in order that it’s a folded rectangle.

The ends had been barely pinched to create an oval for extra stability.

Step 2

Check the paper bridge design by including pennies to see what number of you’ll be able to add earlier than the bridge has structural points.

Our Oval Bridge Outcomes

This bridge bowed within the heart the identical approach that the only strip bridge did.  It was in a position to maintain a number of extra pennies. The pennies wanted to be positioned down the middle of the bridge. Once they had been unfold out the bridge, the bridge fell into the area between the cups.

Building Paper Bridges - accordion folded bridge design shown with multiple pennies being held up
Let’s attempt folding the paper like an accordion for our subsequent DIY bridge design…

#3 – The way to Construct an Accordion Folded Bridge

This paper bridge design makes use of a sequence of alternating folds to create a number of panels of the identical dimension or an accordion fold. That is the kind of folding approach you’ll see in a fan or accordion folder.

Step 1

Create a folded bridge by folding a strip of paper horizontally as you’ll fold a fan sustaining the 11 inch bridge size. The folds that had been created had been very slender.

You possibly can take a look at the outcomes with totally different widths of folds.

Step 2

Let’s take a look at this bridge’s energy by including pennies to the bridge heart.

Our Accordion Fold Bridge Outcomes

Makes an attempt had been made to put the pennies on high of the folds, however they saved slipping into the folds on the folded bridge. This model of bridge was in a position to maintain all of the pennies gathered for this exercise. It might have in all probability held much more. The bridge didn’t also have a slight bow in it.

Building Paper Bridges shows a finished DIY bridge design with pennies on top and the words Science Book for Kids Have fun while you learn with the book 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments cover
This is likely one of the featured science actions in our science e-book!

#4 – Create Your Personal Bridge Design

Older children will love to determine one of the best bridge design inside sure perimeters like:

  • Solely use one piece of paper between two cups
  • The cups should be a sure distance aside
  • The STEM problem is to see who’s paper bridge design can maintain essentially the most weight

Which Paper Bridge Design Labored the Finest?

After all of the bridges had been created, we talked about why one bridge design labored and others didn’t. We have now our ideas about why some had been profitable and others weren’t.

Why do you suppose some labored and others didn’t?

The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments - book by the Kids Activities Blog team that has over 100 science and STEM related activities for kids!
Over 100 science and STEM actions for youths…and they’re all enjoyable!

Did You Know? We Wrote a Science E-book!

Our e-book, The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments, options tons of superior actions identical to this one that may maintain your children engaged whereas they study. How superior is that?!

Extra STEM Actions from Youngsters Actions Weblog

How did your bridge constructing undertaking end up? Which paper bridge design labored one of the best?

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