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Homework Help: Paper Tower - Mats: (1) Letter Size Paper

  1. Mar 25, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Given one piece of standard printer quality paper (8 1/2" x 11"), construct the tallest free standing structure.

    1 Letter size piece of printer quality paper


    So I have searched and read through other threads containing this problem, but all require tape, paper clips, etc.

    We are given one piece of paper, with no support. It has to stand on it's own for 20 seconds to be measured. We can cut, fold, and roll the paper but we cannot use any outside materials such as tape, spit, paper clips, or glue.

    Last year the tallest project reached 6' 1".
    In 2004, the record holder, was constructed reaching 7' 3".

    We get double the maximum points if we can reach 6'+.


    I have tried a few designs, all coming horribly short of any respectable height.

    If anyone has any ideas it would be appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Show us some pictures of the previous winners, and maybe we can offer some hints. Maybe not, though. Sounds like some previous winners were pretty creative!

    And keep in mind that we will not do your work and your project for you. Hints only here at the PF.
  4. Mar 26, 2009 #3
    I would love to have pictures of previous winners.

    But that would defeat the purpose of the project, which is to construct it on your own. :wink:

    I'm just looking for ideas for structural design since we can't use anything but paper; it's hard to roll it into tubes or have the base stable enough to support a decent height.

    I was thinking about cutting strips, folding them, then making slits perpendicular to the fold to 'connect' more on top of some sort of base but again, I'm stuck on a base design.

    Thanks for any hints!
  5. Mar 26, 2009 #4
    I think this is also a test of your manipulative skills so if you come up with a promising design do not be put off just because it may be hard to do,practise it.I made one once,it fell over.
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