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Building Paper Bridges: Family Science Spotlight

Build bridges from paper to explore civil engineering in this family STEM activity. Does the shape of the materials make a difference?

Build bridges from paper / engineering family STEM activity.

What helps make a bridge strong? In this family science activity, explore bridge engineering with kids by making paper bridges that stretch between stacks of books. How does changing the shape of the materials (the paper) change the strength of the bridge? This is a fun and creative science activity you can do with kids that brings civil engineering and materials science to life. Add to the fun of this activity by testing the bridges with lightweight toy figures to see how the different bridges react to weight. Keep in mind that these are paper bridges! Even so, with some tinkering—and application of science—you and your family can build paper bridges that have some weight-bearing capacity! Make it a challenge on a long afternoon, or do it together for a quick and easy science exploration.

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