9 Best Bridge Building STEM Challenge Ideas for Kids


We see and drive over bridges all the time, but rarely think about all of the science, engineering, planning and innovation that goes into the creation of each bridge. Inspire young minds to explore the world of bridges with these 9 captivating Bridge Building STEM challenge ideas, encouraging kids to see bridges in an entirely new light.

Learning about bridges and gaining an understanding of how they are made makes seeing them in the real world meaningful. Especially with hands-on experimenting and bridge building, children then see bridges in their everyday life and make connections to what they learned.

This collection of 9 Best Bridge Building STEM challenges is the second part of 10 Easy Bridge Building STEM Challenges for Kids.

Whether you’re an educator or simply want to explore more about bridges, this collection of learning activities is a great place to start.

One of the joys of embarking on STEM challenges with children is witnessing their boundless creativity as they construct and design. Over the years, I’ve witnessed countless classroom STEM endeavors, and each time, kids astonish me with their unique ideas and inventive solutions.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities are always a great way to get kids excited about learning essential skills, like problem solving, team work and a growth mindset. For more STEM activity ideas, visit my popular collection of 45+ STEM Challenge Ideas.

bridge building stem challenge shows a pinterest pin of bridge activities.

Plastic Blocks Bridge Building

This collection of bridge building activities starts with a simple, but exciting STEM challenge. Using plastic building blocks, children are challenged to create a bridge across a sheet of paper or fabric (to represent a lake.)

The bridge needs to stand freely and span the full length across. There is a free printable STEM activity card available to subscribers (subscribe information below).

Chopstick Bridge Building STEM Challenge

Build a bridge like da Vinci did with no bolts, no welding, no rivets, no nails, and no screws! Kids will build a bridge using nothing but sticks in this da Vinci Bridge Project.

This is a great challenge for children to use only simple materials and learn about support and structure.

Spaghetti Bridge Building

Spaghetti is tasty, but it’s also great for building bridges! Dig into your kitchen for this creative and educational bridge building STEM challenge.

This bridge-building project is sure to bring out your child’s inner civil engineer. Using spaghetti as their main building material, kids will recreate bridge designs, learning about important architectural elements like trusses.

Straw Bridge Building

This challenge is great for a rainy day or in a classroom. Grab a collection of simple materials that you probably already have on hand.

Can you design a bridge out of paper and straws that will hold 100 pennies? Test everyone’s bridges and see how many pennies each can hold before breaking. Mix in some math and keep track of the pennies each bridge holds.

Oobleck Bridge Challenge

Kids, and even adults, love playing and feeling oobleck. It’s made out of just cornstarch and water and is a truly unique liquid/solid material. Give kids a chance to get their hands on it before they move onto bridge building.

Then design a bridge to cross this oobleck ocean, so your astronauts or toy figure can continue exploring. Use your oobleck from a sensory experience for this bridge building activity.

Bridge Building STEM Challenge

Kids will love building a bridge and you can keep them even more engaged by using dinosaur figures or other toys that kids love playing with. Kids test how many of their characters can sit on their bridge and use the paper to create different bridges.

Use folded paper to make bridges and test them for strength.

Egg Shell Bridge Building

We think of eggs as being very fragile and delicate; however, they are incredibly strong. Nature creates amazing structures and shapes that scientists learn from. Check out more egg experiments before trying this bridge building STEM challenge with egg shells.

Learn about the strength of dome shapes with an eggshell bridge. Kids will be in awe of how many books and how much weight egg shells can hold.

Eggs are strong enough for a hen to sit on, yet so fragile that a baby chick’s beak can easily crack through the egg. Isn’t nature and science amazing!

Cotton Swab Bridge Building STEM Challenge

Although this bridge building challenge has a Halloween theme, you can try it anytime of year. It uses simple material from home for children to create their bridge.

Children will quickly realize that although they may create a bridge that looks great, if it can’t hold a weight then they’ll need to problem solve and try again to make it strong.

Set up this affordable Bridge Building STEM challenge for the spooky season or anytime with a Skeleton Bones Bridge! 

Cup Bridge Building STEM Challenge

Try this preschool STEM bridge building challenge for a community helper theme!

Children plan before they start creating which is the perfect way to get them thinking before building. A free printable activity page is also available.

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There are lots of free printable STEM challenge task cards in the library to continue your STEM fun!

More Hands-On Teaching Ideas

Making learning and everyday fun for kids can be easy! Check out the collection below of some of my favorite and most popular activities for children at school or at home.

Check out the collections of STEM challenges for kids, from science experiments to building activities and lots of free printable activity cards!

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