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Kennon Downes Wyatt Jones

Bridge Design Challenge

Our bridge was able to hold a bucket of sand, which weighed 11,000 grams,

and six textbooks, which totaled 8,100 grams. In total, the bridge successfully supported

19,100 grams of weight before cracking. The bridge weighed 206.55 grams, which

included 26.13 grams of hot glue and 99 popsicle sticks, totaling 180.42 grams. The

bridge was able to hold 9,250% of its weight.

The failure of our bridge was due to a few things: uneven construction, weak end

joints, and insufficient bottom support. The uneven construction was caused by

manufacturing errors and inconsistent Popsicle sticks. The weak end joints were

intended to support most of the weight, but there was too much force over a small area.

While the two halves of the bridge were very sturdy, they were not connected very well;

There were lots of small points of contact, which separated very easily. This allowed the

bridge to flex sideways and separated the halves.

To improve this design, the bridge would have to be constructed in such a way

that the two sides would be even. This would allow the weight to be applied evenly to

both sides, strengthening the design. The joints that held most of the weight would

have to be strengthened and used popsicle sticks to supplement the hot glue that held

them together. More bottom support would have to be added to strengthen the current

bottom support. In order to do this, there would have to be popsicle sticks taken from

somewhere else on the bridge. The most logical place to take these sticks from is the

bottom beams because they don't hold very much weight.


Figure 1. ​Bridge after testing

Figure 2. ​End of bridge joint on test bridge compared to show model

Figure 3.​ Show model