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Leaning Tower of Pasta


Source Institutions

    Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

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Leaning Tower of Pasta

Learners build structures from spaghetti and marshmallows to determine which structures are able to handle the greatest load. Their experiments help them to further understand the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures. Resource contains suggestions for assessment, extensions, and scaling for different levels of learners.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • 20 unbroken pieces of uncooked, long pasta, such as spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine
  • 30 small marshmallows
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Weights or small books

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Food and Cooking

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Yakacki, Chris; Heavner, Ben; Schaefer Zarske, Malinda; Carlson, Denise

Source Collection:

  • TeachEngineering

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, ©2004

Funding Sources:

  • Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • National Science Foundation, 0226322

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