STEM Challenge Suspension Bridge

Grade Levels
5th - 6th
Formats Included
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Kids love to build bridges! This is one of the best STEM real-life activities we tackled! It’s a suspension bridge! This engineering project is perfect for your upper elementary students. They will spend at least two class sessions creating their bridges and sharing them.

Note: This challenge is available in money-saving bundles!

What is the challenge?

This STEM activity will have your students designing and building a suspension bridge. They will need to learn a little about how suspension bridges work before beginning and then see if their final model is, indeed, a true suspension bridge.

This challenge should take three class sessions. This may include the time for students to research suspension bridges or look at materials you gather to help them understand how a suspension bridge works.

What is your prep?

Materials you will need in addition to this package include craft sticks, hot glue guns and glue sticks, string, tape, and cardboard. NOTE: We used hot glue guns and followed strict safety rules. This bridge can be built using a different glue, but your building and drying time will be a factor in how class time is utilized. This resource is labeled for upper elementary students due to the use of low-temperature glue guns. Please consider this as you decide to try this challenge.

This package specifically contains:

  • Cover Sheet
  • Background
  • Materials and Preparation page
  • 4 pages of Teacher’s Step-by-Step Procedures with embedded hints and photos
  • 1 page of additional Helpful Hints
  • 4 pages of photos
  • Task Rules page
  • 2-page lab sheet with samples of possible student answers
  • 1-page lab sheet
  • Scoring rubric
  • Terms of Use
  • Editable file with all forms

What are teachers saying?

  • "I have used some of your challenges before and have always been pleased with the results. The materials used are readily available and are affordable. The kids love the challenges and the lab sheets help me hold the students accountable for their individual thinking and contribution to the project."
  • "Brilliant activity. Perfect way to end a unit on bridges. The kids had made straw truss bridges and were really excited to be building another type of bridge. Thank you for your excellent unit!"

This challenge works with other Real-Life Challenges:

Or grab the challenges in money-saving bundles!


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Total Pages
19 +editable
Answer Key
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