– Originally posted May 12, 2019

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During our End of Year Celebration on June 6, ZLO’s Middle School Science teacher, Mrs. Hadfield, will be heading up a Bridge Building (Crushing) Competition. We would love for as many ZLO students as possible to join in on the fun!


The bridge must be pre-constructed before the
day of the competition.

Mrs. Hadfield has popsicle sticks and glue available if needed!

Objective: Test the optimal weight your bridge can handle.

1. Materials:

  1. You must use popsicle sticks. Use regular popsicle sticks sold by Wal-Mart or your local hardware store.
  2. The sticks may be physically altered: cutting, notching, sanding, bending, etc. is allowed.
  3. The sticks may NOT be painted, coated, or soaked in anything but water.
  4. Only water soluble white Elmer’s glue may be used as an adhesive.

2. Dimensions of the bridge:

  1. The height of the bridge is limited to twelve (12) inches above the support.
  2. No part of the bridge may extend below the end supports.
  3. The width must be less than or equal to 5 inches.
  4. The bridge length must be greater than or equal to thirty (30) inches.

3. Weight Limitations:

  1. The bridge must weigh 500 grams or less.

4. Roadway dimensions:

  1. A 4-inch high by 4-inch wide vehicle must be able to pass through the entire length of
    the bridge with no obstructions.
  2. The roadway must be continuous with no gaps (natural wood warping is permitted.)
    The minimum dimensions of the roadway are the length of your bridge by 4-inches.
  3. No part of the roadway can be more that 2.0 inches above the end supports.

5. Loading condition during testing:

  1. The load will be applied vertically, at the center of the bridge.
  2. The load will be applied directly to the roadway.

6. Supports:

  1. The supports will be provided for the bridge to sit on.
  2. The supports will be placed 29 inches apart.
  3. The bridge may not exert any horizontal loads on the supports other than friction.

7. Construction:

  1. At least one entire side of the longest dimension (edge of face) of each popsicle stick
    used must be clearly visible for us to judge.
  2. Only one member needs to be seen for viewing if it is being used as a dowel.
  3. Voids or enclosed areas where sticks could be hidden from judging are not allowed.

8. Have Fun:

  1. Prepare for your bridge to be demolished as maximal weight will be added to test the
    strength of your bridge.

9. Questions:

Contact Mrs. Hadfield

Science Classes at ZLO

Meet Mrs. Hadfield

ZLO Bridge Building (Crushing) Competition!
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