All STEM Activities

Building Block Towers

Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Length, area, ratio, stability, forces
A short, wide block tower and a tall, skinny block tower.

Introduction

If you have ever built a tower with blocks, you have probably knocked it over—either on purpose, or by accident. Sometimes your tower gets too tall and wobbly, and you just cannot keep it standing! In this activity, you will learn about the trade-offs you need to make when building a tower that is both tall and stable.

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Toy cardboard or wooden blocks, or an assortment of empty cardboard boxes (cereal/tissue/shoe boxes, etc.). Do not use plastic snap-together blocks like LEGO® bricks.
  • Optional: chair to stand on, or an adult to help you put blocks at the top of your tower.
  • Pencil and paper

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Length, area, ratio, stability, forces