This post may contain affiliate links.
We did a little Engineering project this past week in our house and built a popsicle stick bridge. It was a really fun project to do with the kids. We used colored popsicle sticks and Elmer’s X-Treme School Glue to make the bridges look cool and stay STRONG!
(This is a sponsored post in behalf of Elmer’s. I am being compensated for my time in writing this post.)
Want a simpler bridge without glue? Try this one!
Bridge building is a great STEM engineering project for students. It is a simple way to teach about how important structure is to strength. You can build a bridge many different ways, and they will not all be equal. Take this bridge building project a step further by competing with other bridges to see which one hold up the most weight.
Yes, our popsicle bridge is messy and crooked, but my kids had a blast making it and it is strong!
All you need to make this popsicle stick bridge is a good strong glue and some popsicle sticks. This Elmer’s X-Treme glue worked like a miracle! Wood glue also works great here.
How to Build a Popsicle Stick Bridge:
When building the bridge, you need to start with your bridge design. We decided to make a truss bridge with our sticks. A Warren Truss bridge is made with equilateral triangles that divide out the weight on the bridge. This makes the bridge really strong.
To start, you will need two rows of popsicle sticks for the bottom base. Start by lining up three popsicle sticks end to end. Glue on two overlapping the seams. Then cut one stick in half for the two ends.
Repeat this three more times.
You will then make two more with just two popsicle sticks making shorter beams. These are going to make the trusses. Using a 3-stick beam and a 2-stick beam that has mostly dried, attach them with the sticks making a triangular pattern.
Once it dries a for about 15 minutes, flip it over and repeat the triangular pattern on the other side to make it double thick. You will repeat this to make the two trusses for the sides of the bridge.
The other three-stick beams are to be used as the bottom base of the bridge. Lay them parallel to each other and glue sticks going across the bottom connecting them. This would be the road that the car would drive over if it were a really bridge.
Once the base is done, glue the side trusses on standing along the edge. I glued it and propped up some books along the side to hold them up while they dried. Attach the sides together along the top with another triangular pattern.
Ours ended up pretty lopsided, but it still held together amazingly well! My daughter filled in the uneven parts along the bottom with some extra sticks to keep it balanced. She was SO proud of her creation!
I think this may be the STRONGEST Popsicle Stick Bridge out there!
Learn more about Engineering and Bridges with these cool books:
Also check out my Fairy Tale STEM project with the Three Billy Goats Gruff for another idea to make a popsicle stick bridge.