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Thursday, December 3, 2020
Home Education Ancient Greek Architecture Challenge

Ancient Greek Architecture Challenge

STEAM Fair 2020 Activity

Thanks to Chesapeake Family Life

Ancient Greeks (and many other cultures still) used the post and lintel system because when you put a top (lintel) on several columns (posts), it can bear much more weight than any of the columns could individually…even if you added them up.
The challenge is to use a set of paper cups and two cookie sheets to create your own building using the post and lintel system that will hold your weight.

Can you build a 2-story structure using on paper cups and 2 cookie sheets that is strong enough for you to stand on?

Kids should try standing on their building in an open area leaving plenty of room around them in case they fall.

What you need:

  • Paper Cups
  • Cookie Sheets


How to build a structure

  1. Research & Build

    After studying a photo of Greek temples, arrange the cups in rows, open end of the cup down

  2. Add Cookie Sheet

    Put the first cookie sheet on top of the cups

  3. Add second row supports

    Arrange a second row of cups

  4. Add second Cookie Sheet

    Put the second cookie sheet on top of the second row of cups

  5. Test it out

    Stand on your structure. Will it hold your weight?

How does it work?

This project covers all aspects of STEAM.
SCIENCE: Qualitative physics…kids can calculate force and pressure distribution!
TECHNOLOGY: Take pictures and make videos of the building and testing of your cup & cookie sheet towers!
ENGINEERING: Designing a tower, and making sure it stays up.
ART: Creating a “”cool”” looking building.
MATH: Qualitative concepts of gravity, force, and pressure


Make a building as tall as possible while still maintaining a minimum support weight (for example, How high can you make a tower that still supports 30 pounds?)!

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