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Bridge Building Contest Kit

Avg. Ratings: 1.0 (1 Review)
WARD470003-058 WARD470003-056
Cutting Edge Construction and Physical Engineering

  • Physics in a contest setting
  • Create a variety of bridges
  • Learn about force and stress
Applying physics concepts to construction in a contest setting, students create a variety of different bridges — including beam, truss, and arch styles. With each build, students learn about the forces and stresses their creations must endure and develop a greater understanding of structural integrity and the physics of bridge construction. The added motivation of a national competition encourages students to thoroughly research and design the most structurally sound bridges.

These contest kits, developed in partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratories, and aligned with national standards, are available in two versions to meet the specific needs of your classroom and students. The basswood version is designed primarily for high school students. The straw building kit is ideal for introducing middle school students to the basics of design and structure without the safety concerns of sharp instruments or glue. Both sets include materials for 10 bridges.



Item # Description Unit Availability Price Quantity
470003-056 Bridge Building Contest Kit, Basswood
Each Retrieving
470003-058 Bridge Building Contest Kit, Straws
Each Retrieving


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Total Ratings: 1
Avg. Ratings: 1.0 out of 5

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Yes: 1 No: 0 user Secondary Education / Teacher / Wisconsin
No, I didn't recommend
I ordered the basswood bridge kit for my classroom, and I am NOT pleased overall. It is supposed to come with materials for 10 groups....on the inside page of the instructions, it says that there are materials for 15 groups. WIth the materials that I got, there is only enough for FIVE groups!! Not even close to 10 or 15! For instance, you get 5 scalpels, 5 bottles of wood glue, and 5 pieces of foam board to work on. It's supposed to come with 50 basswood pieces, and I don't even have CLOSE to that. I need to go and purchase more basswood on my own now. The instructions for how to use the load plate are not clear- the diagrams show that there should be two loading points on the bridge, but only have instructions for one load plate. Do you make two load plates and load up both parts of the students' bridges? Do you make one plate and pick one of the load points to test at? Why aren't you just testing it in the center? Very unclear. The "above and beyond" information at the end of the booklet, designed to take your understanding of bridges further, is ridiculously above and beyond. Nothing that I would ever teach to my kids....heck, I couldn't understand what was going on. You'd really have to be an upper-level physics teacher or college professor to get whatever is going on was not useful to me at all. Overall, I'm mostly upset about the lack of materials that I received. It would be easier to just find the information for this outside of Wards/on the internet and buy the pieces yourself from somewhere else (National Balsa, which I found online, has the same basswood pieces they sell on Wards (about $1.30) for 32 cents each!!! Holy cow!! Buy it all separately, find better instructions elsewhere, and save yourself time and money.
Reply associate Published 11/05/2017
Our apologies for the incorrect information on the website and instructions. We are in the process of updating this information as the kit contains enough materials for 5 student groups. The instructions are written in a way to be open ended, allowing the teacher to use testing parameters at their discretion. In addition, the information included in the instructions allow the teachers the flexibility to present the amount and type of information that best suits their students. More detailed information and a strong math component are included for those teachers that desire to present their students with additional, more technical information to further their understanding of bridge building. Thank you again for your feedback.
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