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.
Easy STEM Challenge
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.
More STEM Challenges for kids
If you like STEM Challenges we’ve got plenty!
Make newspaper shoes, a newspaper den or even a newspaper kite with these easy newspaper STEM challenges.
This collection of Fairy Tale STEM Challenges is one of our all time favourites!
Or, try one of our many other super simple STEM Challenges for kids.
Last Updated on April 28, 2022 by Emma Vanstone
Any idea how much weight it will hold? enough for preteen, around 100
Ours held my 12 year old 🙂
How many cups did you have to use for your child? I’ve got a group of teens I’m planning for and need to know how many cups to buy.