CNY Bridges: Build ‘Em & Bust ‘Em

2019 Bridges Flyer

The Central New York Bridges: Build ’Em and Bust ’Em bridge building competition provides 4th – 12th grade students a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activity. This event gives students an opportunity to test their ability in engineering, teamwork, and design.

Each team builds a balsa wood bridge to test the strength and durability of their design. Awards are presented to the four top teams in these categories:

  • Category I – Grades 4-6
  • Category II – Grades 7-8
  • Category III – Grades 9-12

If you have never participated in the Bridges event before, please contact Peter Plumley, Chief Program Officer, to obtain a MOST website login. He can be reached at

Below are the rules governing CNY Bridges Build ‘Em and Bust ‘Em. Click on each headline to view information.

Balsa wood bridge materials may be picked up at the admissions desk of the MOST following team registration. See Materials section below for pickup dates!


Teams consist of two or three students in grades four through 12 organized in three categories:

  • Category I: Grades 4 through 6
  • Category II: Grades 7 and 8
  • Category III: Grades 9 through 12

If a team has students in more than one grade, the team will compete in the category of the oldest student. For example, a team consisting of two sixth-graders and one seventh-grader will be registered as a Category II team.

All categories build a truss bridge that can pass inspection (watch video for details).


If you have never participated in bridges before, you need to contact the event director, Peter Plumley, to obtain a MOST website login. He can be reached at

Once you have the login or if you have participated before, click on the Team Registration link at the top of the page.

Please complete all information, including the grades of the students participating. Make sure the students’ names are spelled correctly, as we use this database to print certificates and all information.


The MOST provides balsa wood kits consisting of 15 2-foot-long 1/8 inch square pieces for teams to use in building their bridge. They can use any amount of the wood provided. Glue is provided; however, alternate glues can be substituted.

Teams must use provided materials to build a bridge.

Bridges Materials Pickup Dates:

  • Dates for Bridge Material Pick-up:
    • Saturday October 12 (10 AM – 12 PM)



Every participating student receives a Certificate of Participation and an event T-shirt.

The top four teams in each category receive a plaque and team members receive a medallion. The plaque should reside at the associated team school or organization.

Odds & ends

If you have questions, contact MOST Chief Program Officer, Peter Plumley.

Thank you to our sponsors!

SRC logo

Syracuse University College of Engineering & Computer Science

Technology Alliance of Central New York logo

CNY Bridges: Build ‘Em & Bust ‘Em is brought to you by the