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Paper tower challenge

Challenge students to build a tower as high as they can from 10 sheets of paper.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Lessons activity is in: 
  • 10 pieces of recycled paper per student
  • flat floor space

Hand out stacks of paper to each student.
Ask them to build a tower as high as they can with their paper. They can fold and tear the paper as they wish, but get no more materials.
Encourage them to exchange ideas (as adult engineers do the same).
Point out the different styles of towers, and the various ways that students reinforce their structure to make it stable e.g. rolling sheets to make strong columns, creating stability by leaning sheets against each other etc.


From Destination Imagination.

Grades taught: 
Gr 4
Gr 5
Teaching site: 
ingridscience afterschool
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

isas spring 2017