Spaghetti Bridge Competition

Affiliation: University of Thessaly
Resolution: Group | Duration: One to two hours



Design and build a bridge out of (uncooked!) spaghetti to carry a load of 1kg across a gap of 500mm using as little spaghetti as possible. The bridge must be wide enough to include a 50mm wide thin card roadway which will allow a model vehicle (i.e. 1/50th scale approximately) to roll freely along it.

Learning Objectives

After this activity, students should be able to: -Create a design method. -Conduct group work and discussion. -Build techniques that civil engineers use.


Many people in different branches of engineering work to build bridges. Civil engineers are responsible for design and construction of such structures, however they also work with mechanical engineers and material engineers to design the most stable structures. These engineers must consider many variables when creating plans, such as the distance to be spanned, where the bridge is being built, the expected type of traffic it will have to withstand, materials available, budget and what the bridge will look like. Civil engineers design structures such as buildings, dams, highways and bridges. Student teams explore the field of engineering by making bridges using spaghetti as their primary building material. Then they test their bridges to see how much weight they can carry before breaking.