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Can you cross the ‘River Da Vinci’?


Imagine you need to build a bridge so that people can cross a river easily.

Can you do it?

AGE: 11-18

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You are in a remote location with only lengths of timber to use.

You have no rope or materials to fix the timber together.

The bridge you make must be self-supporting in every way.

Da Vinci


Leonardo da Vinci designed a bridge around 500 years ago! It is still used today to make a great many structures as well as bridges. The design is clever because it is self-supporting; this means that no fixtures or fittings are needed to hold the frame together - the added load and gravity hold it together! Can you make one?

Want to challenge yourself?

Want to challenge yourself?

Can you make the bridge longer or higher? Can you try to sketch out the way you built the bridge so that someone else could make it from your instructions?

This video 'How to make a Da Vinci bridge' shows a bridge being made from timber. It's great fun if you know someone that can help make this!

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Questions to think about

How could you see this structure being used in the real world? Could you think of another use for this structure, other than a bridge?


What went well? What didn’t go so well? What would you do differently next time?

We’d love to see the outcome of your design – send pictures to