You're Grounded

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In this engineering activity, learners test the stability of towers they build out of cups, discovering that structures with more mass in the base are more stable.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 6 plastic cups (10-12 oz.)
  • Tape (masking or duct)
  • Magazines
  • Pennies


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Center of Gravity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009