Monday, August 11, 2014

Building Cardboard Bridges (Kid Engineering!)

Ever wonder why corrugated boxes are so strong?  Since we've started unpacking, I'm surprised by how well our boxes held up.  Even after being shipped across the country, our stuff is intact and our boxes still look good.  Wow!  Those folded bits really make corrugated cardboard strong!  This thought inspired me to try building some simple cardboard bridges with Chuck.  This way we could see for ourselves how folds made cardboard stronger.

Easy Kid Engineering:  Let's Cardboard Build bridges!

(Does folding paper make it stronger?)

building cardboard bridges with kids (engineering)

We cut out several cardboard and paper rectangles.  Then, we folded some pieces different ways to test out their strength.

Which one do you think will hold the most weight?

cardboard corrugation kid engineering bridges project

Then, we grabbed some things from around our home to create the bridges and test their strenghts.

materials needed to build bridges with kids

And then we got building!

testing out different cardboard bridge's strength (kid engineering)

And then we built some more! 

building bridges with kids

We found that creating folds in one direction helped to make our paper and cardboard stiffer and stronger. We also found that folding them another way actually made the cardboard less sturdy!

Then we just went to town and tried to see just how strong our folded cardboard bridge actually was.  So, we stacked as many things as we could onto our strongest bridge.  Wow.  It's pretty amazing how much weight it could hold.

testing out why corrugated cardboard is so strong

Hope you have fun trying out this super easy science and engineering activity out with your kids.  And if you're interested in more easy kid engineering activities, check out the links below:

And you can also find other great kid ideas on my Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts!

Happy making!