Address: P. O. Box 1166, Bettendorf, IA 52722
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Battle of the Bridges

13th Annual Battle of the Bridge Contest
Friday, March 6th or  Saturday, March 7th, 2020

The Putnam Museum, 
1717 West 12th Street, Davenport, IA 52804
for ALL AGES, with 2-4 people per team
Cost: $25.00 per team
(teams can also pay for optional pre-order pizza and drinks)

The event is open to any student, grade or age for either Friday or Saturday. A team may consist of one to four people, where all team members must be signed up on the registration form. 

OBJECTIVE: Build a model bridge onsite with provided tools and materials within 3 hours with the greatest structural efficiency.


Friday, March 6:

Check-In/Setup 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Bridge Building 12:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Load Testing (available after 2 hours) 2:15 pm ~ 4:15 pm
Awards Ceremony ~ 4:15 pm – 4:30 pm

Saturday, March 7:

Check-In/Setup 8:00 pm – 8:30 am
Bridge Building 8:45 am – 11:45 am
Load Testing (available after 2 hours) 10:45 am ~ 1:15 pm
Awards Ceremony ~1:15 pm ~ 1:30 pm


  • Family (Any combination – kids, adults, seniors)
    see Rule #10
  • Elementary (Grades 4-6)
  • Middle School (Grades 7-8)
  • High School (Grades 9-12)


(Updated Jan 22, 2020)

Liability and Photography Release Waiver*
Every participant must have this waiver to participate.

Registration limitations:

  • Friday: 40 teams max (any combination) limited to 8 teams from ANY ONE SCHOOL
  • Saturday: 40 teams max (any combination), limited to 8 High School teams only

No pre-work is required with all of the materials provided along with tools and local engineers support at the event.

Highlights for 2020:

  • This year’s event will be one week later than the past owing to many positive changes going on at The Putnam Museum – Friday March 6, and Saturday March 7, 2020.
  • At this time, The Putnam cannot commit to foul-weather reschedule dates, that’s why they are listed as “TBD”. We will keep you in the loop…
  • Awards for the school-age categories will be given out on Friday only, just like 2019.
  • Masking take will be provided as a TOOL upon request, not to be used as a MATERIAL.
  • New minimum bridge height of 4 inches.
  • We clarified Professional/Societies to be ALL ADULTS (≥ 18 years old), and there are no trophies to be awarded for this category.
  • Restrictions on the use of WIRE have been removed.
  • Clarified the hole sizes on the test stands (~1/8”).
  • There are now three toy trucks to use to verify that the bridge acts as a bridge. The most limiting dimensions are provided. Any truck can be used.
  • The loading platforms are being reconstructed but will function the same as the wood/rope platforms of the past.
  • Teams should order food delivery on their own or purchase through the museum’s concession stand.





Information From Previous Bridge Events:

  • 2015 Results with Pictures
  • 2014 Results with Pictures
  • 2013 Results with Pictures
  • 2012 Video (6:31)
  • 2012 Results and Pictures
  • 2011 Results and Pictures
  • 2011 Video (5:09)
  • 2010 Results and Pictures
  • 2009 Pictures

Battle of the Bridge History:
In 2008, the Quad City Engineering and Science Council sponsored it’s first bridge building contest as part of a series of workshops supporting the Da Vinci Exhibit at the Putnam Museum in Davenport.  Based on the success of the contest, this is now an annual event.