Students work within constraints to construct model trusses and then test them to failure as a way to evaluate the relative strength of different truss configurations and construction styles. Each student group uses Popsicle sticks and hot glue to build a different truss configuration from a provided diagram of truss styles. Within each group, each student builds two exact copies of the team's truss configuration using his/her own construction method, one of which is tested under shear conditions and the other tested under compression conditions. Results are compiled and reviewed as a class to analyze the strength of different types of shapes and construction methods under the two types of loads. Students make and review predictions, and normalize strengths. Teams give brief presentations to recap their decisions, results and analysis. This engineering curriculum meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).