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.

Stand on a paper cup and watch it break

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.

STEM  Challenge - stand on paper cups

Carefully try a second layer.

Ask a heavier person to try to stand on your cup tower, do the cups hold their weight too?

stand on paper cups without breaking

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.

Paper Cup STEM Challenge - stand on paper cups without them breaking them #STEMforKids #STEMChallenge Great for science club too.

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The post How can you stand on a paper cup without breaking it? appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.

Originally posted at Science Sparks