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Paper Towers - Any Known Record, we got 194 cm

  1. Apr 3, 2009 #1
    Hey Everyone,

    Today I subbed for a very clever group of Physics I students at Anderson High School, 3rd Period, Mr. Holman (April 3rd, 2009), Austin TX. We did the standard Paper Towers project with the following rules:

    a) 1 sheet of regular Letter sized copy paper / printer paper -- the cheap stuff of course.
    b) 50 cm of masking tape
    c) each tower must stand for at least 10 seconds

    We got lots of different unique designs, but the one that stuck out was a tower that was taller than me, and I'm 187 cm!! We measured approximately 194 cm.

    This particular tower was so well built, it stayed up over 30 minutes, long enough for us to forget about it in class. Longer than ALL the shorter ones with bigger bases or stronger supports.

    We found a few tips / secrets to why this one was so successful:

    -cut the paper into .25cm wide strips, folding them tightly into long skinny "L" shapes, as many as possible.
    -do not bend the paper EVER... it ruins any structural stability you need later on!!!
    -use 3 legs with horizontal supports as needed, but no base is needed if you're legs are strong enough.
    -build from the TOP down... this was the main thing that led to the most success.

    The attached photos are not as clear as I'd like, but it towers over a green file cabinet easily. The legs are hard to see because the floor is white tile, same color as the tiny little paper legs.

    Please post new heights when you get them!


    Mr. "O"

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2009 #2


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    Welcome to PF!

    Hey Mr. "O"! Welcome to PF! :smile:

    That's very impressive!!
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