How to Build a Popsicle-stick Bridge By julia liesen

This bridge is based off of the Warren Truss Bridge (truss-a structural framework of wood or metal, especially one arranged in triangles, used to support a roof, bridge, etc).

List of Materials: about 203 popsicle sticks (you may want extra), paper clips, rubber bands, newspaper, Elmer's glue

Warning: I would not advise using this design for a bridge because it collapsed under 3 pounds.

Sides:

1. Make a line of sticks, leaving a small gap in between each stick, making a line about 30 in. long. Then layer the sticks on top of each other like the picture shown, about 3 layers total. Glue these together, and use paper clips to hold the sticks together if needed. Drying should take a few hours.

2. Next, triangle supports should be added. Wedge popsicle sticks in the gaps you created earlier. Alternate with each side of the triangle, one side in a gap, one glued to the outside. Do this for each triangle, on each side. I used a popsicle stick to measure each triangle to make sure that it was even. Glue the triangles together at the top and where you stipuck them in the gaps.

3. Glue sticks across the top between each triangle, alternating one facing the inside, one facing the outside. Do this for both sides, all the way across. Again, use paper clips to hold the sticks together if needed.

X's

1. Using two sticks, make an X with one stick on top of the other, making the length at the end about 2 in. Glue them together. Make enough X's to cover the span of your bridge. Make sure that you make your X's all the same way, or it'll be hard to glue them together.

2. Glue the X's into one long row, overlapping each with one side on top of the other, like what is shown in the picture above.

Side supports

1. Take 22 sticks, and place 4 like the picture shown, 2 sticks on top of the other two. Aligning with the two sticks on top, fill the whole row with sticks, about eleven (including the two you just used). Once it's dry enough, flip it over and do the same on the other side. This creates a "slab" of popsicle sticks.

2. Repeat this process, so you have two "slabs."

Your slabs should look somewhat like this.

Attaching the sides And supports together

1. Place one of your rows of X's facedown. Take one of your side and flip it over so that your triangles are facedown, but not flat. Put glue all along the bottom of your side, and then flip it over and press firmly down on one side of your row of X's. Tie rubber bands around the X and the bottom of your side to hold it together while it dries.

2. Do the same to the other side.

3. Place glue on the X's on the end. Press firmly onto the support that you you made earlier. If necessary, place more popsicle sticks between the X and the support to make it level.

Do the same to the other side. Wait for them to dry.

Bottom supports

1. At the end of the bridge, make a triangle sticking out of the bottom gaps of your bridge. The triangle could be facing either way. There might not be enough room to stick them in, so you may just have to glue them all to the outside. Paper clips to hold them in are strongly recommended. Please refer to the pictures for guidance. Add a stick along the bottom to complete the triangle.

2. On the outside of your triangle, glue a stick facing the end of your bridge. Make it at an angle so that it will get support from the table (or wherever your bridge is hanging off of) glue a popsicle stick that is directly aligned with angle of your table to the projecting stick. It should look something like this.

3. Make a couple more triangles off the bottom from the one you just created. This step is optional, and it doesn't matter how many triangles you add. You could go all the way across the bridge if you think that it's necessary.

4. Repeat this step on the other three corners of the bridge.

Wait for everything to dry, and then you're done. Congratulations.

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