Pyramids and Triangles

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Straws and pipe cleaners are terrific materials for building models of pyramids and cubes. Start out building a triangle or square, then make it three dimensional and turn them into pyramids or cubes by adding more straws. Try making two triangles into a square! This activity is a great introduction into geometry and measurement. The activity does not go into detail about how to use the pipe-cleaners with the straws, but taking non-bendy regular drinking straws and filling them with pipe cleaners so that a little sticks out on either end, works best. The straw keeps the structure sturdy, and the pipe cleaner ends are used to twist tie other pipe cleaner/straw combos together.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • pipe cleaners
  • non-bendy regular drinking straws
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • pipe cleaners
  • non-bendy regular drinking straws
  • scissors
  • ruler


  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Polygons

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Science Museum of Minnesota, 1995

Funding Sources:

  • Unisys
  • Science Learning Network
  • National Science Foundation