Video: Paper Bridges

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Science Buddies Original
STEM Activity
Bridges come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. What makes a bridge the strongest? Find out in this fun activity as you build simple bridges with paper and test to see how much weight they can hold. Read more
Science Buddies Original
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarden-2nd
Your students have probably walked or ridden over a bridge at some point in their lives. In this engineering activity they will design and make bridges out of folded pieces of paper, and test how much weight they can hold with pennies. How does the shape of a bridge affect its strength? Let your students explore and find out with this lesson! This lesson can be expanded to a second lesson looking at how the material a bridge is made out of can change its strength; see second lesson for details. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Science Buddies Original
Lesson Plan Grade: 2nd
Steel, concrete, wood—real bridges are built from many different materials. How do engineers decide which materials to use? In this activity, your students will expand on the previous paper bridges lesson plan by building and testing bridges made from different materials. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 2-PS1-2. Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.