howe truss articles

100 Stick Popsicle Bridge: 21″ Howe Truss

The 100 stick popsicle bridge challenge is on. This Howe Truss bridge uses 99 popsicle sticks, spans 21 inches, and holds 200+ pounds. It’s efficiency score is 678. This is an updated version of my old “Popsicle Bridge #3” which was the same length, but slightly different in construction.


Howe Truss

The Howe Truss was designed by William Howe in 1840. It used mostly wood in construction and was suitable for longer spans than the Pratt truss. Therefore, it became very popular and was considered one of the best designs for railroad bridges back in the day. Many Howe truss bridges exist in the North West United States, where wood is plentiful.


Howe Truss Bridge

This bridge was definitely not my best, but it does bring back memories. It was the second bridge built by my old Science Olympiad Bridge Building partner, David, and I. As you can see, we were still in the beginning of our bridge building career. I assume David is still building bridges, as his father is an engineer. I have not seen him for several years. This bridge took 5th place at our regional tournament way back in 2001. It […]


Howe Truss Bridge

Have you wanted to make a strong popsicle stick bridge that used 100 popsicle sticks or less? This popsicle bridge was made from 98 unmodified popsicle sticks and WeldBond glue. It was 21 inches long, 4 inches tall, and 4 inches wide. It weighed about 150 grams, and held 140 pounds. With less than 100 popsicle sticks, that is a lot of strength in this bridge. Its efficiency score was 424. This is the strongest popsicle bridge I have built […]


Popsicle Bridge Howe Truss Kit

This is a great opportunity to learn principles of engineering and physics while having lots of fun. This popsicle bridge kit allows you to construct a Howe Truss Bridge which really works. Not only does this bridge work, but it can hold some serious weight. Put a load of 100 pounds on it, no problems. And if you spread the load out along the entire span, this little bridge can hold 140+ pounds of force.


Short Howe Truss Popsicle Bridge

I built this popsicle stick bridge to complete my short popsicle bridge series. This bridge uses the Howe Truss design. Previous to this I had built bridges using the Pratt and Warren trusses. This bridge was 13.5 inches long and used 50 popsicle sticks. It ended up holding 117 pounds before failing.


Truss Design

Learn all the main types of trusses used in real bridges, and see how to apply them to model bridges. Learn the history of each common truss design. This page is designed to help you make an educated decision about what truss design you should use on your bridge.





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