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Paper Cup Stool

Paper Cup Stool

December 7, 2021

What do you think would happen if you tried to stand on some paper cups? You would crush them, right? What if you used the power of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) to stand on the cups without crushing them?

In this engineering challenge, you will create your own paper cup stool!


- 5-10 Medium to Large Paper Cups

-1 Piece of Cardboard (Big enough for you feet to fit on)


1. Try standing on 1 or 2 paper cups. Do they crush under your weight? If not, see what you have to do to get them to crush. We will use this same method later on.

2. Spread out at least 5 paper cups in a way they are evenly distributed.

3. Place your sheet of cardboard on top of the paper cups.

4. Now try standing on top of the cardboard. Do the cups
support your weight now? Is it sturdy? If you had

to use a stronger method earlier to crush your single cup, try that same method now. Did it work?

5. If you have the supplies, try adding another layer of cups and cardboard to make a two-tier stool!

How does this work? It has to do with weight distribution. Check out the math below!