A stable tower built with straws is a common science project assigned to students in the public school system. The building of the tower is to help students understand the concept of weight-bearing and the principles of construction. Plastic drinking straws are an inexpensive item and are easy for students to manipulate. Make a stable tower using drinking straws positioned in right triangles. The triangles create stable building blocks to ensure the tower will not fall under its own weight.
- 44, 12-inch drinking straws
- 12-inch square of wax paper
- Low-temperature glue gun
- Low-temperature glue sticks
Cut the straws in shorter lengths to create a more compact tower. Construct a larger tower with the straws at the 12-inch length. Use the same process to make any size tower.
Measure and cut 40 drinking straws into 6-inch lengths.
Cover a stable work surface with a 12-inch square of wax paper.
Position three cut straws into a right triangle. Squeeze a drop of low-temperature glue at each corner. Repeat the process to create 40 right triangles.
Position two triangles together to make a square. Squeeze a line of low-temperature glue along the length of the two straws extending diagonally across the square. Repeat the process for a total of 20 squares.
Arrange the sides of four squares together to create a cube without a top and bottom. Squeeze a line of low-temperature glue along the joining edges.
Place a straw square with a the diagonal line on the top of the cube you have made. Squeeze a line of low-temperature glue along the joining edges. Repeat the process to create four cubes. The top of the cube is considered the plane.
Stand a 12-inch straw from the four corners on the top of one cube. Tilt the straws so they create a pyramid shape. Glue each straw to the corner with a dot of low-temperature glue. This section is the top section for the tower.
Squeeze a drop of low-temperature glue on the top point of the pyramid to hold the four straws together.
Place a cube on the stable work surface so the top is facing up. Sit a second cube on top of the first. Squeeze a line of low-temp glue along the joining edges. Repeat the process with the third cube.
Place the top section of the tower on the three-cube base. Squeeze a line of low-temperature glue along the joining edges.
Things You'll Need
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