Learn about engineering and construction challenges and principles, from skyscrapers to bridges, highways and, of course, arches, in the Structures Gallery. Come prepared for a fully hands-on experience!

In Structures, you will learn about:

Icons and Monuments

Learn about monuments around the world. The highlight is St. Louis’ own famous Gateway Arch, especially what makes it so stable. Bring family and friends to build a replica of the Gateway Arch using foam blocks and take a photo—the 7-foot arch model requires a team effort!

Skyscrapers

Build a foam skyscraper using ties to try to make it as tall as possible. See how different base isolators and tuned mass dampers help large buildings withstand earthquakes and high winds. Create simulated earthquakes to see which buildings stay up and which ones fall down.

Bridges

See footage of the wind-induced 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Learn how wind causes bridges to “flutter” and how this problem might be resolved. Create your very own bridge, choosing from truss, cable or suspension styles—or make a combination!

Highways

Watch time-lapse footage of I-64 construction from the Science Center’s bridge over the highway. Little ones can play with roadways and bridges. Try your hand at construction with our excavator—can you use the controls to move the excavator?

Living Spaces

Learn all about different “green” construction techniques. See how high winds affect two different types of roofs by trying to blow the roof off of two houses.