Activities & Clubs

Math & Science Clubs

Tiger Toothpick Bridge Contest

Fall 2017

Tiger Toothpick Bridge ContestGoal: To build a toothpick bridge with a team up to two that will support the most weight and spanning a 25.0 cm opening using only one box of wooden toothpicks and one 4oz bottle of white multipurpose Elmer’s glue.

Materials: One box of 250 wooden toothpicks, one 4oz bottle of white multipurpose Elmer’s glue.


Must be built prior to contest date.

Must be free standing (can’t glue to tabletop) and have a maximum length of 35.0 cm.

Must have a flat level spot in the exact middle of the bridge, so that a 5.00 cm x 5.00 cm x 0.50 cm metal plate rests horizontally on the bridge.

The exact middle of the bridge must have a horizontal slit of at least 3.00 cm x 1.00 cm to allow for a hook and chain attached to the plate to extend below the bridge.

Maximum mass of the bridge cannot exceed the mass of the box of 250 wooden toothpicks and the mass of 4 oz of dry glue. 

The bridge must support the plate (120.0 g) without bending below the flat ledge surface at the start before additional force is applied.

Carpenter’s glue, super glue, epoxy, etc… or any kind of tape, is not permitted and would place behind the legal bridges.


Bridges will be placed on a level surface with an opening of 25.00 cm between two ledges.

The force used to break the bridge will be measured by a Vernier force probe attached to the hook on the plate.

Since all bridges are to be broken, Safety googles must be worn during testing.

Winning bridge is the bridge able to support the largest force before breaking.

Ties are broken by:  lowest bridge mass > largest bridge mass.

Prizes are: 1st place = $40, 2nd place = $20, 3rd place = $10

Contest Date and location:

Final Testing will occur on Nov 3 at 2 pm in GJ304.