Gumdrop Dome

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity (located on pages 23-24 of the PDF), learners are introduced to structural engineering and encouraged to practice goal-oriented building. Learners work to build the strongest dome they can using only gumdrops and toothpicks.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Sample domes for display
  • 50 toothpicks
  • 30 gumdrops
  • Gumdrop Dome handout
  • 1 paper plate
  • weight set to test the dome structure


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Explicity developed for this group
    • Acknowledges this group's contributions to STEM
    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access