Jump to main content

Paper Bridges STEM Activity

Create Announcement

This feature requires that you be logged in as a Google Classroom teacher and that you have an active class in Google Classroom.

If you are a Google Classroom teacher, please log in now.

For additional information about using Science Buddies with Google Classroom, see our FAQ.

Paper Bridges STEM Activity

Want to learn more? Check out these other resources:

STEM Activity
3 reviews
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
Blog Post
Kick off the new school year with one of these STEM activities! Easy to plan, low-cost, and accessible to all grade levels, these icebreakers set the stage for a great school year. Students will get to know one another, maybe remember your name, and leave class thinking it was a lot of fun! It's back-to-school time! This means a brand new year, maybe a brand new group of students, or even a new grade level. The first few days are often spent settling… Read more
Blog Post
Teach students to think like engineers with fun hands-on building and design challenges. Spark interest and build confidence with one of these free engineering challenges for elementary school students. 12 Engineering Challenges to Inspire Elementary School Students! Engineering design challenges are a great way to ignite student interest in STEM. When students tackle an engineering design challenge, they are encouraged to brainstorm, design, build,… Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten-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.
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.
Free science fair projects.