As is true with any engineered structure—whether it's a skyscraper, a tunnel, or a dome—different bridge designs manage the forces of tension and compression in different ways. In this video segment adapted from Design Squad—a PBS TV series featuring high school contestants tackling engineering challenges—a team of students competes in a bridge design and construction challenge that requires them to build a suspension bridge, which uses long sagging cables and towers to support the weight of a suspended deck. The rules of the challenge prohibit them from using power tools and force them to use natural resources. Thus, they use hand tools and tie ropes to trees and wooden posts.
This media asset was adapted from DESIGN SQUAD: "DS Unplugged".