Which form is stronger?
Explore with a sheet of paper the strength of accordion-pleated sheets compared to simple folded sheets.
- Two identical sheets of paper
Fold one sheet accordion-fashion along its length and make a bridge between two books.
Fold the other in half lengthwise, then again in half lengthwise. Be sure the two papers are the same length. Make this paper bridge two books.
Working in pairs, have one student add cents one by one to the bridges; have the other student record the number of cents added before the bridges collapse. Which folded shape is stronger?
Bridges good enough to eat!
Have the students construct bridges of pasta to span
30 centimetres. Remind them that this will mean the bridge has to be longer than 30 centimetres. If the class is old enough, emphasize triangles as being very stable shapes. Suggest that they look at pictures of bridges to see how the triangles fit together. Have a contest to find the strongest bridge, if the students do not mind having their bridge broken.