Bridges design exercise

Learning objective

To develop students' knowledge of structures by:

  • investigating bridge structures
  • using their D&T skills and knowledge to build a bridge that supports a load.

Design Brief

Design and make a model bridge that will stand on a shelf in the Design and Technology display cabinet. When completed, the bridge will support small products made by students in D&T lessons.


  • The bridge must have a suspension or cable stayed structure.
  • The bridge must span the width of the D&T display cabinet.
  • The ends of the suspension cables / cable stays must be fixed to the sides of the display cabinet.
  • The bridge frames must be free to pivot on the shelf.
  • The deck must be made from flexible sheet material such as card.
  • The bridge must support D&T products that will be placed on it.

Assignment Guidance

  • Measure the internal width of your D&T display cabinet. Your bridge must span the width of the cabinet precisely.
  • Study the bridges animation and photographs of bridges, especially those bridges that are suspension bridges and cable stayed bridges.
  • Use your knowledge of structures to design a suspension bridge or cable stayed bridge that will fit precisely between the sides of the D&T display case and that will support various D&T products.
  • Draw your design.
  • Make your design using the materials provided. 
  • Work in pairs to make one bridge.
  • You should have your own copy of the designs.
  • You should use a digital camera to photograph your finished bridge.
  • Test your bridge to check that it will safely support the loads it was intended to support.
  • Use DTP software to write an evaluation of your bridge. Include a photograph of your bridge with your evaluation.
MDTE PDF Bridge building exercise 2 PDF
Copyright Laszlo Lipot.