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  Activity: Newspaper Tower
Activities Index | Handout | Educator Ideas  

What's the tallest tower you can build using only two sheets of newspaper?
Illustration of skyscraper standing on an open newspaper. Here's the challenge: getting the newspaper to stand up, without using tape, staples, glue, or other materials. But you can bend, fold, or tear the paper itself.

What You Need
• 2 sheets of newspaper
• ruler

Make a Prediction
Make a prediction about how tall a tower you can build. What is your prediction based on?

Try It Out
1. Now construct your tower. If you think you can make it taller, keep redesigning it until you can't go any higher. 
2. When you are finished building, measure the height of your tower.

Explain It
• How did your result compare to your prediction?
Give possible reasons for any difference. What limited the height of your tower?
• If you could use one other material to make your tower taller, what would it be? Why?

Build on It
• How much taller can you make the tower if you can add 20 centimeters (about 8 in.) of tape? (You can't tape the tower to the table.) How tall can you make the tower and have it support the weight of a pack of chewing gum?
• How well does your tower withstand environmental forces? Use a fan to imitate wind gusts or shake the table gently to imitate an earthquake. How can you change your design, using 2 sheets of newspaper and 20 cm of tape, to better withstand these forces? 

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