Do you think you can stand on a paper cup or would you expect it to break? We thought our cup might break, but checked just to be sure. We were right.
How can you stand on a paper cup without breaking it?
Try spacing several cups out evenly and then place a sheet of cardboard on the top. You should find the cups can now hold your weight.
Carefully try a second layer.
Ask a heavier person to try to stand on your cup tower, do the cups hold their weight too?
Why does this happen?
When we stood on one cup it broke straight away as we expected. This is because all our weight was pushing down on the cup, compressing it.
However, if you arrange the cups neatly spaced apart and place a piece of cardboard over the top, the weight is spread out meaning there isn’t too much weight on any one cup.