Leaning Tower of Pasta
Using spaghetti and marshmallows, students experiment with different structures to determine which ones are able to handle the greatest amount of load. Their experiments help them to further understand the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures. Spaghetti cannot hold much tension or compression; therefore, it breaks very easily. Marshmallows handle compression well, but do not hold up to tension.
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Learning Objectives and Standards
Links to the National Science Standards and to individual State Science Standards are available by using this link:
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
(2010), "Leaning Tower of Pasta," http://nees.org/resources/571.