This STEM challenge is a lot of fun, and you won’t need much in the way of materials!
At Tangerine Montessori Pre School they came-up with a really clever way to test the physics of the strength of spaghetti. While kids who are 13 or older may understand the more complex science and mathematics behind these tests, they are also really fun for younger students as well and the complicated aspects can be summarized so that Preschool or Kindergarten students can learn form this activity too! Plus, it does not require much in the way of materials at all.
How to Do This Activity
All you need is a lot of uncooked spaghetti and maybe a broom or vacuum to clean-up after the activity as many noodles will be breaking while you do your activities!
The main idea of this activity is to study the strength of the pasta material itself. Find a way to get the spaghetti to stand-up vertically (maybe poke it into foam blocks or whatever is available and test what kind of weight it can handle. Point-out to the children that as more spaghetti is used more weight can be held without the noodles breaking because with more noodles being used that distributes the weight to all of them, making each noodle having to do less work individually!
Also try putting the spaghetti horizontal-facing and then see how much weight differing amounts can handle. Again, students will see that while just a few pieces cannot hold-up much weight, a bunch of spaghetti together is able to handle a greater amount of materials pulling-upon it. This can lead to a discussion of how bridges work with various parts handling the distribution of weigh as bridges are very interesting and useful when discussing STEM !
Click Here for More STEM Activities!
- Apple Toothpick Sculptures for preschoolers
- Bridge-Building Preschool STEM Activities for Preschoolers