Explore the physics and design of bridge building with just paper, tape and scissors! The Bridge Bundle includes 4 project guides, 3 student worksheets, 7 Technique pages and 2 Reference pages for use with K-12 students. The 28-page Bundle includes the Weight-Bearing Bridge Experiment, an introductory activity that introduces paper as a strong building material. The Bundle also includes three open-ended project guides that focus on different approaches to creating fixed, movable (including drawbridges, swing & lift bridges) and truss bridges. Each activity teaches versatile paper shapes and techniques that empower students to design stable and functional models.
Engineering with Paper project packets teach dozens of approaches to folding, cutting and taping paper for use in unlimited projects.
No printer? No problem! You can follow all instructions on-screen with regular copy paper.
If printing, we recommend printing your packet without scaling. Pages are sized to 8.5" x 11".
- 4 project guides: Weight-Bearing Bridge Experiment, Create a Fixed Bridge, Create a Movable Bridge (Spin Bridge, Lift Bridge, Drawbridge), Create a Truss Bridge
- 3 Student Worksheets: Weight-Bearing Bridge Worksheet, Plan Your Bridge Worksheet, Reflect Worksheet
- 5 Technique Pages: Basic Shapes, Tracks, Accessories, Structural Components, Paper Straws & Connectors
- Reference Pages: Types of Fixed and Movable Bridges, Folding and Cutting Guide
Additional Supplies Needed:
Paper, scissors, tape, (optional) markers or colored pencils or crayons
This project meets these NGSS standards:
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull. Examples of problems requiring a solution could include having a marble or other object move a certain distance, follow a particular path, and knock down other objects. Examples of solutions could include tools such as a ramp to increase the speed of the object and a structure that would cause an object such as a marble or ball to turn. Assessment does not include friction as a mechanism for change in speed.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. “Down” is a local description of the direction that points toward the center of the spherical Earth. Assessment does not include mathematical representation of gravitational force.
Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object. Examples of pieces could include blocks, building bricks, or other assorted small objects.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose. Examples of properties could include, strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency. Assessment of quantitative measurements is limited to length.
Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties. Observations could include color, texture, hardness, and flexibility. Patterns could include the similar properties that different materials share.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard. Examples of design solutions to weather-related hazards could include barriers to prevent flooding, wind resistant roofs, and lighting rods.
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
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.
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