Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Build More!

We worked on learning some engineering today. Our first experiment tested the idea that layers make a stronger structure. We used tissues (Quilted Northern) that we'd separated into layers. Using a rubber band, we put a single ply over a small container. Most of the kids were able to get nearly 100 pennies on the tissue before it tore.

Then we did the same thing with the 2-ply tissue. We were able to get 130 pennies on the tissue before it broke.

Our next idea we explored was zigzags. We made a bridge with two cups and a flat piece of paper. This could hold around 5 pennies. Then we folded it a fan shape to create zigzags lengthwise on the paper. Now we could hold around 15 pennies. This reminded us of corrugated cardboard.

Our final, and perhaps most fun exploration was finding a strong shape. We made cubes out of 8 mini marshmallows and 12 two-inch pieces of pasta. We placed a small piece of paper on top and added pennies until they slipped. Then we added 4 three-inch pieces of pasta as cross supports creating triangles. This helped us support way more pennies.

Photo credits: Kristin Graffeo

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