Youths are advised to bring their own MATCHBOX car

Building a Popsicle-Stick Bridge for MATCHBOX car

The goal: to build the strongest possible bridge to take a matchbox car, using wooden popsicle sticks.

Constraints: - The bridge must span a 55cm gap - No more than 100 popsicle sticks may be used - The sticks may not be cut - Only white glue may be used - Construction paper may be used for the deck only - The test load is applied to a 4cm-wide section at the top of the arch. - The test jig looks like the image attached. (Well-built bridges can support over 200kg - the weight of two adults)

Structural Analysis

A bit of thought, or modelling with a computer-aided design program, shows that the bridge can be reduced to a simple triangle. The force required to break a well-constructed bridge is orders of magnitude greater than any other forces acting on it, such as its own weight, the weight of the toy car, "wind load" etc.

This is another good website for bridge building that will serve as our base