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Tulika Nair

Learning to build a truss bridge from popsicle sticks can be a great way to help kids understand more about physics by studying basics of engineering and bridge building. Here, we give you the steps that you need to follow to build a truss bridge from popsicle sticks.

Before actually getting down to the business of making a truss bridge, it is important to know what a truss bridge is. Such a bridge is usually made from connected individual elements that act together as a unit in tension or compression. The tension members of a truss bridge are subject to forces that pull at the outwards of the ends of the bridge.

The compressive forces of the truss bridge work in such a manner that they push together. Truss bridges are some of the oldest forms of modern bridges and are one of the most economical type of bridges to construct. Here are instructions to build a truss bridge from Popsicle sticks so as to understand the elemental construction features of such a bridge.

A truss bridge has a very strong framework. It uses a triangular framework for creating the bridge as it is one of the most stable support frameworks that you can use. In fact using a triangular framework is a much more economical and sturdier option as compared to using a rectangular support for the bridge.

Given are simple steps that you can follow in order to make a truss bridge from popsicle sticks. The things that you need in order to create the bridge include popsicle sticks ( at least 24), glue, rough paper to use for protection of work space, and clamps.

➾ The first step that you need to follow is to take two of the popsicle sticks together to create a structure that is twice as long as the length of a single popsicle stick. Now use two more sticks to create a similar structure.

➾ Now take the two structures that you have created and place them on your work table parallel to each other. Ensure that the distance between the two sticks is about as much as the length of a single popsicle stick.

➾ The next step is to take two popsicle sticks and place one stick each perpendicularly at the end of the two structures that you have created. Ensure that the perpendicular sticks are parallel to each other. This is the basic frame for the truss bridge deck.

➾ Next attach another popsicle stick perpendicular to the longer sticks of the frame right at the center so that it is parallel to the other two sticks.

➾ Now you need to start sticking two popsicle sticks diagonally. Each stick that is stuck diagonally needs to be attached to opposite corners and be fixed from one corner of the frame to the center. The side of the center of the frame that it needs to be stuck to also needs to be different. In this fashion you can create the truss frame of the bridge's base.

➾ As mentioned earlier a triangular structure forms the steadiest of bases for the truss bridge. Next you need to create a triangle using three of the popsicle sticks. You will need to make two popsicle stick triangles.

➾ Next attach two popsicle sticks to the tip of one of the triangular structures that you have created. Ensure that these stick are moving away from each other and are parallel to the base of the triangle. Repeat this process with the second triangle that you have created as well.

➾ The next step would be to attach a stick to the end of the two sticks. Allow this stick to move away from the tip of one triangle and let it move to the corner of the base of the triangle. This will allow you to create the sides of the truss bridge. Repeat the process with the second triangle as well.

➾ Now you will need to attach the side of the bridge and the base of the bridge. Ensure that each side is perpendicular to the base. It is also essential that the shorter edges of the sides of the bridge are pointed away from the base.

➾ Use two popsicle sticks to connect the sides of the bridge to the top of the bridge. Ensure that these sticks are place perpendicularly to the long sides of the base of the bridge.

This is just one of the designs that you can use to create a model out of popsicle sticks. Building a truss bridge out of popsicle sticks as easy as mentioned here. Just use the steps given here to create an engineering model.