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How to Build a Straw Tower in Science Class

Updated April 17, 2017

Building a tower out of drinking straws seems pretty easy; that is, until you consider how flimsy drinking straws are. If your science teacher has challenged you to build a straw tower that will stay standing, there are a few tricks you'll want to keep in mind.

Arrange three of the drinking straws so that they form a triangle. Do the same thing with two sets of three other drinking straws each.

Arrange the three triangles so that they make an isosceles trapezoid by putting two of the triangles next to each other, and one triangle upside-down between them.

Separate the two loops of a paper clip (the inner loop and the outer loop) by bending them outward. Keep each of the two loops intact.

Connect two of the straws by sticking one loop of the paper clip into the end of the first straw, and the other loop into the end of the second straw. Bend the clip so that the straws remain at the proper angle.

Continue using additional paper clips to connect the straws into the trapezoid shape.

Make a second trapezoid, repeating Steps 1 to 5.

Connect the two trapezoids with two parallel straws. One straw should connect the bottoms of the two trapezoids, and the other should connect the tops. This will form the base of the straw tower.

Repeat this procedure using two squares (made of two triangles each) attached to the top of the trapezoids. Then connect the tops of the squares with a straw on each side.

Repeat Step 8 until the tower has reached the desired height.

Tip

If the drinking straws contain an easily bendable part, cut it off before building the tower.

Warning

Do not use masking tape or other methods of connecting the straws. The paper clips are sturdier and give the structure more support.

Things You'll Need

  • Drinking straws
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips
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About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.