Grab your materials and set the timer! For this STEAM-based activity, students will need to build a freestanding bridge as tall as possible from one square to another.

Setup: On the floor, use masking tape to create two 6in x 6in squares (Square 1 and Square 2) that are 8 inches apart.

Challenge: Build a freestanding bridge as tall as possible from Square 1 to Square 2 that can hold as many coins as possible. Freestanding means that your structure cannot be attached to anything. Your bridge must not touch the area between the two squares.

Materials: 2 pieces of paper, 2 cardboard tubes, 6 straws, 2 chenille stems, 6 paper clips, 4 mailing labels (or 6 inches of tape), coins

Time: 8 minutes


A. 10 points if your freestanding structure does not touch the space between Square 1 and Square 2
B. 20 points if the bases of your structure are completely in the 6-inch squares
C. 5 points for every inch of height of your structure
*height is measured vertically from the center of the space between Square 1 and Square 2
D. 10 points if your structure successfully holds 10 or more coins
E. 20 points for the creativity of your structure
F. 20 points for how well your group worked together

Reflection Questions:
1. What was the hardest part of this challenge?
2. Which materials worked best? What other materials could have helped you to build your structure?

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