A – Elementary
NC Essential Standards Alignment:
Science as Inquiry
Event Score Sheet:
The objective of this event is to design and build the lightest tower, constructed only of pasta and glue, with the greatest structural efficiency, capable of supporting a load of up to 10 kg.
Teams must bring their towers and safety glasses.
High score wins. Scoring for this event is based on efficiency. The following formula will be used:
Score = Total load supported (grams) / Mass of Tower (grams)
Load supported and mass of tower are both measured in grams. The total load supported includes the mass of the bucket, loading block and chain, and sand, for a maximum of 10,000 g (10 kg). Even if the tower holds more than 10,000 g (10 kg), only 10,000 g will be recorded.
Towers that fail to meet one or more of the requirements will be ranked in a 2nd tier beneath those that do meet requirements. Towers that cannot be tested at all will be given participation points only.
Ties will be broken in favor of the team with the lighter tower.
It is not the goal to build a tower that you can stand on – efficiency wins! Many winning towers will break during testing, but because they are very light, their efficiency is better than the super-strong very heavy lasagna monstrosity towers.
- Hot glue dries/hardens quicker.
- Triangles are a construction engineer’s best friend.
- Make a full-size pattern of your tower. Build tower on pattern. Be exact!
- “Spot” glue and don’t add excessive adhesive weight.
- Joints should be “overlaid” not “butted”.
- Cut off excess pasta and glue after assembly.
- Use tower design software. Search the web for other ideas and designs.
- Build and test A LOT. Each iteration will get better. Design, test, and refine.
- A blowdryer is a great way to get rid of ‘wispies’ of glue after it is dry.