Bridging the Gap

Challenge

Your challenge is to build a bridge across a span of 12 inches that will hold weight. Modifications for age groups are: older kids use a 15 inch span and younger kids use a 10 inch span.

 

Time: 7 minutes total

5 minutes to build your bridge

2 minutes to test your bridge for weight by placing a small paper cup on the bridge and placing pennies into the cup.

 

The Challenge

Build: You will have 5 minutes to build a bridge. This bridge needs to cross a span of 12 inches (older kids use 15 inches; younger kids use 10 inches) and hold the weight of a small cup and pennies. During the 5-minute building time you can test your bridge to see if it holds weight.

Test: You have 2 minutes to test how strong your bridge is. Place the small cup on your bridge and gently place the pennies into the cup. The more pennies you hold the stronger the bridge.

 

Materials

  • 2 pieces of paper
  • 2 mailing labels
  • 2 rubber bands
  • 5 paperclips

 

Provided but not included in your bridge – scissors, 1 small lightweight cup (example: Dixie Cup) pennies.

 

Scoring:

Up to 20 points for the creativity of your bridge.

2 points for every penny your bridge holds.

Up to 20 points for how well you worked together

 

Do Ahead -Collect the following materials:

  • 2 pieces of paper
  • 2 mailing labels
  • 2 rubber bands
  • 5 paperclips
  • Scissors
  • 1 small lightweight cup (example: Dixie Cup)
  • pennies.

 

Set-Up

2 chairs facing each other 10, 12 or 15 inches apart depending on ages.

 

Debrief:

After you have finished the challenge discuss the following:

  • What kind of problems did you encounter when you made bridge?
  • How could you have used your materials differently?
  • Did you finish building in time?
  • Did you work well together?

 

Follow Up:

  • Using the same materials, repeat the challenge after the debriefed. This gives them the opportunity to apply any corrections discussed during the debrief time.
  • Do the challenge again using different materials.