Leonardo was hired to design many different items for miltary purposes. One challenge for an advancing army, or retreting army, was how to cross a river or stream. To over come this Leonardo designed a bridge that was self supporting. This bridge included a number lengths of timber that interlocked together, and supported men as they crossed the river without the need for any nails or other fastenings.

Your challenge is to assemble a bridge.

Here is an example:

Materials and Tools Needed:

15 Equal lengths of Dowl
1 Round Rasp or File

Construction Instructions:

Here is a PDF document of the instructions:

Here is a instructional Video on how to assemble Leonardo's Self Supporting Bridge:

This leads into the next lesson, "Gears and Cogs".

Curriculum Links:

Technological practice
Students will:
Outcome development and evaluation
  • Investigate a context to develop ideas for potential outcomes. Trial and evaluate these against key attributes to select and develop an outcome to address the need or opportunity. Evaluate this outcome against the key attributes and how it addresses the need or opportunity.