Friday, November 7, 2008

Building Popsicle Stick Bridges

I built my first popsicle stick bridge about 12 years ago when I was introduced to the bridge building contest organized by the students of the DLSU Civil Engineering Society (CES). My bridge was a through truss bridge. A through truss bridge derives its strength from the arrangement and strength of the truss elements. The load is transferred from the bridge deck to the truss elements and then to the supports. There are other types of bridge forms that can be created. A deck or girder bridge resists loads through bending – hence you must design the bridge deck such that it will have a large moment of inertia.The arch bridge, on the other hand, transfers the load to the abutments or supports through compression.

Bridge building is a fun and challenging activity. By applying basic strength of materials and bridge design principles, a little creativity and a lot of patience, you can create your own masterpiece similar to the CES bridges shown. So why not test your skills on popsicle stick bridge building by joining the 5th DLSU CES Bridge Building Competition? The competition is open to all civil engineering students in the Philippines. The best bridge design wins P5,000. The bridge with the largest “stiffness/weight ratio” wins P10,000. Check-out the rules in the ads shown in this blog site.
There are more postings related to popsicle stick bridge building and bridges in this blog. Go to this link.
Get some building tips at
Check-out for various forms.
Photos of CES Bridges by Joenel Galupino:


  1. the bridge making contest using popsicles of it one-of-a-kind in the country, doc andy?
    ...i thought doc andy will feature something about short history of the official newsletter of CES, BRIDGES. Hehehe, I was one of the writers there, once upon a time. And that experience paved the way to appreciate writing. Is it still in circulation there in DLSU-COE???

  2. Yes. as a matter of fact there is already a Brdiges Online. Teh CE Dept has a new blog If you have any news about the alumni, pls let us know. The AnimoCIVnews-onine will be our connection to the students, alumni, parents and fellow civil engineers.