Make A Bridge Collapse Engineering Experiment
In this fun and easy engineering science experiment, we’re going to collapse a bridge.
- Printer paper
- Plastic cup
- Two equal size cans or cups
- Start at the short end of the paper and make a crease straight across about one quarter of an inch wide.
- Using the first crease as a guide, fold an equal sized crease back.
- Continue going back and forth until the entire sheet is folded and resembles an accordion.
- Find an area outside or that is easy to clean up as some water will spill during the next phase of the experiment.
- Set the paper across the cans or cups in a way that forms a bridge.
- Now fill the plastic cup partially with water and place it on the bridge.
- Dip the straw in the water and plug the end.
- Release a few drops of water from the straw onto the bridge until the structure fails.
How it Works:
When the paper gets wet from the drops of water, the cellulose fibers in the paper start to break down and separate more easily. This causes the paper to become weak and unable to hold the weight of the cup of water. This demonstrates that some materials may have certain strengths until other factors are introduced.
Make This A Science Project:
Try this experiment with different types of paper. Try this experiment with aluminum foil. Try adding small amounts of sand instead of water until the bridge collapses.