- 4 sheets of paper
- A weight with a hole in the middle, such as a large washer. Or you can make a weight by taping pennies to the end of a toilet paper tube.
- Electric fan
We challenge you to make a paper tower that can withstand as much wind as possible.
There are 3 constraints for this challenge (an engineering constraint is a limitation on your design):
- You only have 4 sheets of paper and tape to build your tower – nothing else.
- The tower should be free-standing meaning it can’t be taped to the ground
- And, the tower has to be strong enough and tall enough to hold the weight at least 14″ above the ground
Brainstorm Designs and Build
Sketch out a few ideas. Think about how you can build your tower so it’s really stable, but doesn’t catch too much wind.
Set up a fan 6 feet away from your tower. Set the fan on low and see how it does. Did your tower withstand the wind? Try moving the fan forward in 1-foot intervals until your tower blows over. How close can you get?
Evaluate and Redesign
- Did your tower do as well as you thought it would?
- Did your tower slide rather than blow over, or the other way around? Why?
- What could you change to make your tower even stronger against wind?
Make Changes and Try Again!
Share Your Results with a Teacher, Parent/Guardian, or DiscoverE!
You can email photos to DiscoverE at social@DiscoverE.org