Build a Bridge

Cost overruns are unacceptable—in the real world and in an engaging activity. Groups of pupils get together to build a bridge out of straws, paper cups, and tape. They keep track of costs ($1,000 for each material) and must stay within a budget of $20,000.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have a contest to see which group can build a bridge and come in the most under budget
Classroom Considerations

  • Activity requires a variety of materials
  • Learners must be able to calculate costs

  • Provides diagrams of various types of bridge trusses
  • Describes some engineering and science connections

  • None