Astonishing Science. Spectacular museum.
In this race against the clock students work as a team to build the highest tower possible out of dried spaghetti and marshmallows.
Year groups: 1–6 (ages 5–11)
To explore structures and investigate what methods of building can make the tallest and strongest structure. By testing their prototype buildings, students will also have the opportunity to rebuild and alter their designs to improve them, giving an insight into the real-life processes of testing, redevelopment and prototyping that engineers and scientists use.
Spaghetti Challenge activity sheet
Download student activity sheet [pdf]
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is possibly the most famous tower in the world. This iron tower, built in the French capital between 1887 and 1889, was designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel. Because Eiffel had built many bridges, he understood that the tower needed to be able to withstand high winds. So he used a lot of maths to work out what the design of the tower needed to be.
The first cranes were made in Ancient Greece and were used for building. Cranes are used for lifting and moving objects, most often at a height. They generally use a series of cables and a metal tower structure. All cranes have a counterweight to stop them toppling over when they are lifting heavy objects.
There are many naturally occurring strong structures. These include trees and rock formations. The Old Man of Hoy is a column of red sandstone 137 metres high in Scotland. It is probably less than 400 years old.
If you have students who are struggling you could show them the images on page 3 of the student activity sheet for inspiration. We have provided you with pictures of real world structures as well as examples of spaghetti towers.
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Key Stage 2:
Key Stage 3: