Science at Home: Strength of Materials

Science at Home is a new video series that I will be co-hosting every 2 weeks with Life at the Zoo (aka Maggy from Red Ted Art). Science Sparks, The Imagination Tree, Thinly Spread, Rainy Day Mum, Kids Chaos, Blue Bear Wood, and other teacher/parent blogs will be joining us. The goal of this series is to share simple ideas for doing science at home. This is our second episode in the series. Our topic this week is strength of materials. How much weight can your building hold? How strong is your bridge? Can you construct something entirely out of paper?

Science at Home Episode 2 Strength of Materials

Doing Science at Home

Remember science is about asking questions and making observations. Don’t worry if you don’t always have the answers. The fun is in the investigation together. I love what Maggy pointed out on her intro post of our Science at Home series {watch the first video there, too}. She said, “Find the parts of science that you can relate to and start there.” You don’t have to choose an exploding chemistry experiment or complicated building contraption if those aren’t your {or your child’s} interests. Head outside. What things in nature can you observe on a walk around the block? Or grab the Legos and build something together.

Strength of Materials

Watch the video to see how we each built bridges out of different materials.

1) I showed off a bridge that my husband, son, and I designed and built together. It is made out of cardboard. We used thicker pieces of cardboard so our bridge would hold a good amount of weight. We know it can hold at least 2 kg {almost 4.5 lbs}. The coolest part about the bridge is that my son can take it a part and put it back together on his own.

2) Maggy from Red Ted Art and Life at the Zoo shared a bridge made out of paper and Legos. Did you know that paper could be strong enough to be the deck of a bridge? Check out directions for building the paper bridge.

3) Emma from Science Sparks used egg shells as the piers of her bridge. She talked about why they are so strong on the video. Read more about how strong an eggshell is at Science Sparks.

4) Anna from The Imagination Tree shared bridges that she and her daughter designed out of straws, tape, and blocks. Anna talked about how her daughter problem solved the challenge and got their bridge to hold at least 4 kg {nearly 9 lbs}.

This Month’s Challenge: Build a Bridge

Each month we will issue a science challenge for you to complete. If you accept the challenge, you can share what you did at a link party hosted by Science SparksThe Imagination Tree, and Inspiration Laboratories.

This month we challenge you to build a bridge. We have two requirements for you to follow. The rest is up to your {and your child’s} imagination.

  • Bridge must hold at least 1 kg (a little over 2 lbs)
  • Bridge must be constructed of at least one item from the recycling bin

Link up your bridge projects starting next Thursday, 4/11.

More Science Ideas

I love sharing science ideas here at Inspiration Laboratories. If you enjoy the Science at Home series, you may also enjoy the following:

  • The A to Z Science series for toddlers and preschoolers. Easy science activities to do with young children. I include some background info and questions to get you started.
  • Try these experiments perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Join the Science for Kids Community on Google+. Share your hands-on science activities and be inspired by others.


Linking up here.


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