STEM Activity Bridges with Marshmallows Challenge

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Resource Type
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  1. Can you build a bridge with only a few supplies? Yes, you can! My students love building bridges as much as towers. We push tables close together to make the gap we are bridging and set to work with simple materials and one goal in mind. Build a bridge that will cross the gap and work! Please note:
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Our STEM Project about Building a Bridge (with marshmallows) has been a kid-favorite for several years. Students love the simple materials and the task of making this one work. The bridges are not very long but will test the patience and diligence of students as they work to finish this successfully. And, they will! Great cheering will happen when a bridge spans the gap and holds a little bit of weight!

Please note: This challenge is available in money-saving bundles!

What is the challenge?

The design challenge lesson contained in this package is a bridge-building experience. Students will use toothpicks and marshmallows to construct a bridge. They will test the strength of their final designs by adding weights to the structures.

What is your prep?

You will need supplies in addition to this package. This includes toothpicks, marshmallows, paper plates or bowls, and weights (like pennies). You will need to prepare materials for students and copy the lab sheets.

The package includes:

  • teacher's guide with step-by-step instructions with embedded hints
  • materials list and advance preparation steps
  • extension ideas
  • additional page of helpful hints and ideas
  • 3 pages of photos
  • BONUS Challenge using the same materials with a different plan
  • scoring rubrics for all versions of the challenge
  • editable forms

STEM Challenges are a super way to engage students! Designing and working together will be fun- try it! Your students will love it!

You might also like these STEM sets that are about bridges. These can be purchased separately:

NOTE: All three bridge challenges can be purchased in money-saving bundles:


You might also enjoy these STEM Challenges:


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Total Pages
30 + editable
Answer Key
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


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