Bridge Competition

Gadomski School ofEngineering

Bridge Competition

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate how bridge structures of different sizes and configurations behave when subjected to vertical loading. Your goal will be to build a bridge to withstand a vertically-placed weight. Each bridge will be subjected to a vertical weight. The weight will be increased incrementally until failure. Failure is defined as any members becoming detached or disconnected from each other or from any connector pieces, as well as any member breaking.

Each team is provided with (1) K’nex Building Set upon registration. The K’nex kits must be turned in at the end of the competition.

Each team will be assigned a time to compete. This time will be determined the week before the event and you will be notified of the times. The team will bring a gallon size ziploc bag with the parts they plan to use, it will be weighed. They then have a maximum of 30 minutes to construct their bridge. It will then be loaded and the maximum load at failure will be recorded. The load will be applied at the middle of the bridge.

Participants may bring up to 3 pages (front and back) of hand drawn or computer drawn diagrams, schematics, etc.  PHOTOS ARE NOT ALLOWED!


  1. Maximum team size: 3
  2. DO NOT glue or permanently adhere pieces together
  3. All pieces must be detached from each other and placed in a gallon size ziplock bag
  4. Bridge must span a 10” chasm
  5. Bridge must have width between 4” and 6”
  6. Bridge must have height between 6” and 10”
  7. Maximum 30 minutes assembly

Judging Criteria:

  • Parts must come in a gallon size ziploc bag
  • Scoring: (Maximum Load at Failure) / (Weight)