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You have proven yourselves experts in Maine wildlife and now our Maine animals need your help!

Luckily, you have teamwork skills and a growth mindset, because you and your team will be working together to design and build a model of a wildlife crossing suitable to help animals across the road in Maine.


The project


Fact: Maine Animals are being killed on roads in Maine. Animals need to move across roads for several reasons: to get food, to move to breeding grounds, to hunt, and to find mates. Animal deaths can strain the whole environment, because the whole food chain is affected. 

Fact: We need roads. People need roads to access work, recreation like skiing, hunting, fishing, hiking. Businesses need roads to access natural resources like forests and to move their materials and products around. 

Fact: People who design roads often try to minimize the impact on the environment by consulting experts. These experts can help them put roads in the best places, and add features that will help lessen the effects on wildlife, like crossings. 

Fact: Wildlife biologists know what features animals need to make an animal crossing work. 

Fact: Engineers and scientists work together to design animal crossings for existing roads. It makes a difference to the health of the environment when animals can cross roads safely.


The Challenge: Design a crossing for a Maine animal, working with your team.  Your animal will be assigned to your group by next week. You will work with your team to engineer a crossing that will work for a specific Maine animal.

You will need to consider these things:

1. Why does the animal need to cross the road?

2. How does the animal move, and what kind of surface would they need?

3. What habitat do the animals who will use the crossing live in, and what features of this habitat would need to be included in the design?

4. How will you attract the animals to that location and get them to use the crossing you build?

5. Which other animals might be able to use your crossing?


Criteria and Constraints

Examples Around the World


Wildlife bridges: See examples of many types wildlife crossings all over the world

More Wildlife bridges : See even more examples of many types wildlife crossings all over the world

Videos of Wildlife Using Crossings: Watch live camera of wildlife using various kinds of crossings.

California Set for Groundbreaking Wildlife Bridge: Watch a news story about how wildlife crossings save lives.

How Kids and Blue Ropes Saved Monkeys: Read and watch about how Kids Saving the Rainforest created the wildlife bridges.

Great Christmas lsland Red Crab Migration: Learn more about the crab bridges.


Here’s How That Internet-Famous ‘Fish Tube’ Works: Read this to learn more about how scientists and engineers solved problems for salmon and people.

Penguin Paths of New Zealand: Read about the penguin tunnels.

Wildlife Crossings, from Bridges, to Tunnels, to Overpasses: NewsELA article on wilidlife crossings.

There are Teeny Tiny Salamander Crossings in Massachusetts: Read about salamander crossings. Also here.



7 Animal Crossings Around the World: See pictures and short descriptions of the animal crossings.

Improved Wildlife Crossings Show a Huge Decline in Wildlife Collisions: See models of different kinds of crossings.

Turtle Crossings: See pictures of a turtle crossing and how one scientist found a way to attract the turtles to the crossings.

Great Christmas lsland Red Crab Migration: Learn more about the crab bridges.