You will need:
- 2 Plates
- 1 Bag of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles or other gummy sweets
What to do:
- Place 4 fruit pastilles in a square on a clean plate and connect them with toothpicks.
- Place 1 toothpick in each fruit pastille, so that they stick straight up.
- Attach 4 more fruit pastilles to the top of each toothpick and connect them with 4 more toothpicks. You now have a fruit pastilles cube.
- On the second plate, place 5 fruit pastilles to form a pentagon and connect them with toothpicks.
- Now press 2 toothpicks into 2 neighbouring fruit pastilles, so that they come together at the top to form a triangle. Press 1 fruit pastille firmly onto both toothpick tops to finish the triangle.
- Repeat until you have 5 new fruit pastilles suspended over 5 toothpick triangles.
- Use 5 more toothpicks to connect the 5 new fruit pastilles in a new pentagon.
- Leave both designs overnight to set.
- The next day test the strength of your designs by placing books on top. Which structure can bear more weight?
Architects and engineers have to think about how the parts of a building will carry stress. The weight of heavy buildings pulls on the beams holding up the buildings.
From your experiment, do you think that squares or triangles will be best for distributing stress so that a building can stay standing over a long time.
You can watch this experiment as a video here: