My daughter had to build a bridge for her physics class. It was quite a feat of engineering, I must admit, even though it was a tabletop bridge model.
The wooden beams (or sticks in this case) had to be joined together to hold up a fairly heavy object for a certain period of time. They kept adding weight to the bridge until it broke, and then they calculated the strength of the bridge by dividing the weight of the object by the weight of the bridge.
She didn’t win, but she had fun building it and learned a lot about bridge design. She picked a design she found on the Internet that used a criss-crossing pattern of beams, because it was considered a stable design for bridge building.
I suppose she could have bought bridge kits instead of building from scratch, but that wouldn’t have been as much fun.