From there, we went more in-depth with the pros and cons (we made a list) of the types of bridges, where you would put each, what makes them strong, etc. using NOVA: Build a Bridge website.
The kids then got to make their own "blueprints" (yes- I use this term VERY loosely) of a bridge of their own design. It could be one of the four most common bridges or a combination. I didn't even think about it, but the bridge I modeled for them was a combination...though a simple one. Naturally, most of them wanted to show off and designed combination bridges. From there, they could work alone or in small groups to begin building their bridge. I tried to stick to 100 popsicle sticks (told them 75 and then gave them a few more later) and Elmer's Glue. It was a blast, and we had so so so so SO much fun testing out the bridges with our matchbox cars and testing their strength. You might be surprised what Elmer's Glue can do!!!