User login

Physics in the Toy Room: Toppling Towers

Source Institutions

    American Physical Society

Add to listGo to activity
Physics in the Toy Room: Toppling Towers

In this physics activity, learners use square blocks to explore how towers fall. Learners attach a piece of string to the side of a block and then construct a tall tower on top of this base block. They observe what happens when they topple the tower by pulling the string. This activity guide explains why the tower bends and breaks and the role of acceleration and gravity in bringing the tower down.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Set of square blocks
  • String (about a meter)
  • Adhesive tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Acceleration
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, American Physical Society, ©2011


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: