BRISTOL, Va. -

Dozens of students got a fun lesson in architecture and engineering, building bridges with straws.

Virginia Middle School students were put into groups to make the strongest bridge possible.

They were instructed by an engineering professor from Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC).

Each grade had 40 minutes to make a bridge, then VHCC volunteers tested them for strength by putting pool balls on top.

Coordinator Susan Hampton told us the students were excited about learning this way.

"This type of hands on activity that college students get to do as well, is just a phenomenal opportunity for our students to get the experience and knowledge from members of our community," she told us.

Hampton told us the "take away lessons" were creativity, making do with what you have, and working together as a team.

Sixth grade student Gage Richard said he has big plans to use what he's learned.

"If I ever get a career in engineering this will help or if I'm building anything," he told us.