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Building Bridges

Learn about various types of bridges: beam, arch, truss, cable stayed, suspension, and others. Find out about different bridge designs. Learn what materials are used in bridge building. Discover what forces influence bridges and what engineers need to know before building a bridge. Includes photographs, schematic drawings, online games, video clips, and instructions how to build bridges from paper, toothpicks, and marshmallows. There are links to eThemes resources on Mackinac Bridge and Architecture.


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Learn about four main types of bridges and build your own bridge online. Includes video clips. NOTE: This site includes ads.
Explore links on this page to learn about different types of bridges and where each type is used. Visit the interactive "Forces Lab" to find out about connection between forces and shapes. Try engineering skills in "The Bridge Challenge" and click on other links to learn more about selected bridges.
Learn what factors predefine types of bridges. View schematic drawings of bridges.
This site integrates science and math skills in construction of a toothpick bridge. Additional bridge related links are included.
To learn more about four types of bridges: beam, arch, suspension/cabled, and cantilever.
Use this lesson plan as a guide to instruct students in building toothpick bridges.
Students will learn about the primary kinds of bridges and how each is designed and built using certain principles of engineering. A bridge building activity using drinking straws, pennies, and books is given.
Learn how James B. Eads built the first steel bridge in the world over the Mississippi River. Click on the image to view the step-by-step animated construction process. Select the "St. Louis Bridge Video" link on the left to view a video clip about the St. Louis bridge which connects Missouri with Illinois. NOTE: This site includes ads.
Learn how to build a bridge from paper and guess how many pennies it will hold.
Read about three types of bridges: beam, arch, and suspension. Find out how forces of compression and tension influence them. NOTE: The site has pop-up ads and banner ads. NOTE: The reading level is for older students.
Learn about Michigan's Mackinac Bridge, the world's third longest suspension bridge. Find out about the struggle it took to get this bridge built and the time it saves travelers. Includes historical and current photographs, maps, and live views from Webcams.
Learn about architecture around the world including how the St. Louis Gateway Arch was built, Hoover Dam, famous architects, and stories about the people who built them. There are sites with lesson plans on how to teach students to draw floor plans, make blue prints, and draw their own architectural plans. Also included are several pictures of famous structures, lists of architecture books, and glossaries of words.

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