Purpose: The purpose of making a bridge out of popsicle sticks
is pretty simple. As we humans like to experiment with structures made
with different materials, I decided to experiment with making a certain
structure with Popsicle sticks and see if it can withstand certain
weights. I needed to make a bridge that would be safe, stable and
structural. Now, let's begin.
Hypothesis: My hypothesis is to make a certain type of bridge
that withstands certain weights but can be safe, stable, has a
structural design, and is fun to go over!
Materials: The materials I used were everyday items. The two
main materials I used were popsicle sticks and a hot glue gun. Other
materials I used were a marker, wooden board, ruler and books.
Throughout the making of my model I used most of these items.
Procedure: For my procedure, I had to follow a certain type of
schedule during the finding, exploring and testing to finish up with an
The first line of duty was to have an idea. I pretty much knew
what I was going to do, but I needed blueprints. Once I had my
blueprints, I retrieved my materials and made the main model.
The next thing I did was search the Internet, to see if there
were different yet safe ways for improving my model. Once I found them,
I improved my model. When it was time for the prototype, I was sure it
could withstand something as heavy as 45 pounds. I tested my bridge
quite a lot, over the course of 5-7 days. I got two 5 lb books, one 6 lb book and
one 8 lb binder with paper, little books, etc. So the total weight was
24 lbs. I left that on top of the bridge for four days.
It held the weight evenly and still looked like new. So I
added another 2 lbs and I left that on until Saturday. I took
everything off and it still looked good. Making this bridge was like
making a paper airplane with no instructions, because I had to make the
instructions myself. All that work and out came a wonderful yet safe
product. Of course, a bridge made out of popsicle sticks would never
work in real life!
Future Decisions: Next time, I would probably make my
bridge more stable so that it would not move or wiggle. For my next
challenge, instead of using popsicle sticks, I would use straws, but
other than that I thought it was fun and creative.
Observations: For my observations, I noticed that if I added the
weight in the center, there would be less pressure on one side and the
dead load was evenly distributed throughout. There was only compression
on the bride not both tension and compression. (Wonder what that means?
I'll bet you can look it up online! :)
I also noticed that the trusses not only went one way, but if
one row was opposite of another, the pressure would get spread out.
Conclusion: Throughout my making of my bridge, I noticed that to
make something well you need to plan everything. Even though it may not
be foolproof, a plan can tell you where you went wrong and how to fix
your mistake(s) afterward. It can also tell you if something like a
pattern does not match.
After making this one bridge, I also understand why it takes
longer for bridges to be made. To make a bridge you need to have
precision yet remembering you want it to be strong, unique, and safe.
Overall, I had fun! And thought it was well!