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Can a Toilet Paper Tube Support Your Weight?

Summary

Areas of Science
Difficulty
 
Time Required
Very Short (≤ 1 day)
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Abstract

Here's a fun project idea to learn about compression forces. For this experiment you'll need some empty toilet paper tubes, masking tape, sand (or table salt), pebbles (or marbles), a funnel, a cardboard box, and a sturdy chair to help you balance while testing the column. Seal one end of the tube with masking tape. Use the funnel to fill the tube with sand (or salt). Seal the other end with tape. Place the tube on end inside the paper box. Place the chair with its back to the box and hold the chair for balance. Place one foot on top of the tube and gradually shift more and more of your weight to that leg. Does the tube support your weight? What happens if you fill the tube with something with larger particles, like pebbles or marbles? Will a single large column or several smaller columns support more weight? (WGBH Staff, 2000)

Bibliography

WGBH Staff, 2000. "Building Big Educator's Guide, Activity: Columns" Educational Print and Outreach Department, WGBH Educational Foundation [accessed May 26, 2006] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/educator/act_columns_ho.html
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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Can a Toilet Paper Tube Support Your Weight?" Science Buddies, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/CE_p015/civil-engineering/can-a-toilet-paper-tube-support-your-weight. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, November 20). Can a Toilet Paper Tube Support Your Weight? Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/CE_p015/civil-engineering/can-a-toilet-paper-tube-support-your-weight


Last edit date: 2020-11-20
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