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How Strong is Paper?

How Strong is Paper?
Messiness: Low
Age Range: 5y - 9y
Estimated Time: <30 mins

Activity Designer

Stephanie Sims
167 Projects
We have an engineer in our family... she's always playing with pulleys and levers and constructing things. This time we were playing with compression and tension. Let's see what we can learn...

How We Did It

How Strong is Paper?

Paper and books! Just that. Let's see how strong that paper is!

How Strong is Paper?

Maddie took two pieces of paper, and folded each sheet in half horizontally.

How Strong is Paper?
She made little tents out of them, side by side, and I asked her if she thought the paper would hold up a book. She laughed. "No! It will just smash the paper down!"
How Strong is Paper?
She was right.
How Strong is Paper?

Next we took three pieces of paper, folded them into thirds (across, this time), and taped the ends together. How would these fare? How strong would they be? How much weight would they support?

How Strong is Paper?
One.... two...... three..... four......
How Strong is Paper?
Four! Woohoo!
How Strong is Paper?
Now let's check round pillars... We took three pieces of paper, rolled them each around a can, taped the two ends, then slid the can out.
How Strong is Paper?

How will these hold up? One...two...three...

How Strong is Paper?

Four...five...six...seven...eight...nine...ten!...

How Strong is Paper?

Still going at fourteen... How many will they hold? Why don't you go find out!

Keywords

science physics

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