How to Build a Stable Tower Out of Straws

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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.

    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.

    Tips

    • 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.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

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