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For School Groups


Bridges are a natural laboratory of engineering: they test the strength of materials and the durability, connections, patterns of distributing loads, shifting loads and environments. Construct model bridges that help you identify the many challenges that bridges must master.

A Keystone bridge which can hold more weight than you'd imagine and a puzzle bridge designed by Leonardo daVinci. Both are built without glue and still hold strong.

Meets Connecticut Science Standards

  • 8.4: In the design of structures there is a need to consider factors such as function, materials, safety, cost and appearance.

Meets Common Core Standards

We are accustomed to teaching with a model in front of a child, but these instructions should make it so that anyone can build one without our presence. We urge that parents and teachers be there to guide – but to allow the child to try to let the materials (and a picture of the final product) guide them. A wrong direction is always un-doable until you've glued something.

The Parts.

Step 1. Place the two large blocks (pediments) into the pockets in the base. Make sure they are seated fully.

Step 2. You must lay the base assembly on top of the diagram of the bridge. It must be flat on a surface therefore the back side of the base may hang down off the edge of the table or raised surface. Place the small pieces on top of the diagram working from the outside toward the center. The shapes must match the diagram.

Step 3. When you get to the center, you must place the Key Stone into the space left for it. It will be a tight fit but if you have pushed all the other pieces in place tightly, it will fit exactly.

Step 4. It should look like this (except there should be NO spaces.) Push it together well

Step 5. Tilt the whole assembly upright. Now test it to see how much weight you can put on it. Neat huh?

Roman Arch Keystone Br



Leonardo Bridge Sketch

Leonardo Bridge Sketch

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