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Toothpick Bridge

Toothpick Bridge Project

Important Guidelines and Information:

Bridge Project - this is an in-class group project with a partner write-up (poster board). The goal of the project is to enable you with the tools and experience to be successful conducting your own science project. Topic focuses are: fair test, experiment procedures, trials, data collection, data analysis, data representation, and scientific method. The question we will be attempting to answer as a class is: What bridge design can support the most weight? The most challenging aspect of this experiment is collaborating and working with others. Groups who do good work together usually make the best bridges. The next largest challenge is the actual construction of your group's bridge. You will need to be patient, careful, and attentive to detail. At the end of the project, every student partner pair must turn in a poster display that outlines the scientific method conducted in the class project. The poster will be an example of what your 8th Grade Science Project display will look like. The poster will be completed at home.

Bridge Project Sequence:

    • Initial Research - Conducted in your English class.
    • Project Proposal
    • Begin "Notebook"
      • Question
      • Hypothesis
      • Initial Designs
      • Materials
    • Group Collaboration
    • Construction
      • Procedures!
    • Testing
    • Data Processing using MS Excel
    • Finish "Notebook"
      • Data Analysis
      • Conclusion
    • Poster Presentations

Project Rules/Guidelines:

      • Only whole flat toothpicks may be used.
      • Elmer's glue only. Also, you may not soak the toothpicks in glue.
      • Toothpicks may only touch the cardboard in the 5cm square.
      • Bridge must at least 6 cm clearance from the "water."
      • Bridge must be one toothpick wide.
      • Follow the carboard diagram for the base.
      • Avoid excess glue. This adds undesired weight and flexibility.

Bridge Testing:

  • Below is an image that shows how we will test the strength of our bridge design. (The bucket will be larger and we will use sand to add weight.)
  • The bucket will slowly be filled with sand until the bridge flexes 1.5cm or breaks.
  • A scale will be used to weight the pencil, string, bucket, and sand.
  • Your bridge will also be weighed by a scale to determine the weight to strength ratio (efficiency).


YouTube Video


Poster Presentation:

Assignment Documents:

Building big bridges note and DVD - This is part of the research component. You will be using this in your English teacher's class.

Bridge Project Proposal - This is same type of proposal you will need to complete for approval to start your science project.

Bridge Project Rubric - This is for the overall poster presentation and your bridge.

Bridge Testing - List all materials and procedures for testing (double-sided with data collection).

Bridge Data Collection - Table for observations and data (double-sided with testing).

Bridge Examples:


Helpful Links for Research: