How to Demonstrate Engineering Principles | Science Projects


Hey, guys. Thinking natural disasters. When you think of natural disasters, there
are several that come to mind. You have earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes,
hurricanes. But, if I show you marshmallows, and I show
you toothpicks, and tell you that we’re about to do an experiment that has to do with
natural disasters, you’re gonna be, like, “Wait, what? Marshmallows and toothpicks, and natural disasters? But you.” Yeah, we’re going to do that, and I have
a challenge for you. This is your challenge: I need you to get
a bag of marshmallows, and you know what I love about this, is if your marshmallows ever
get stale, the worst thing to do as a scientist is to throw them out. You can reuse anything, rather than making
it into garbage. Now, you have a challenge, and your challenge
is this, can you create a multi-story structure, a structure, I think, that people can build? So, you have to make it multi-floored, which
means more than one or two, I would say. And, here’s the kick, after you build it,
it has to be standing. You’re not allowed to hold it up. It has to be free-standing and stable. Stable on the table. Gravity should not be knocking it down. Then, we’re going to simulate an earthquake. So, after you’re done, and you’ve made this
really awesome structure, made out of only marshmallows and toothpicks, we’re going
to shake the table, and we’re going to make an earthquake. And you can be, like, “Earthquake.” Just tremble and vibrate. And if your structure is still standing after
30 seconds of your simulated earthquake, you, my dear, are an engineer. And check this out. Your structure’s actually gonna be three-dimensional,
and all you need are marshmallows, and all we need are toothpicks. It doesn’t matter if they’re the pointy
type or the flat type, but, marshmallows are actually cylinder shapes. So, take a marshmallow, take a toothpick,
put it through. You kinda have, it looks like you’re going
to be working out with it, but you’re not. Now, think about how we can take this, and
turn it into a really awesome three-dimensional shape. I’m going to start with this square, and
then I’m going to build it up, and turn this square into a cube. Now I’m going to start going higher, just
like this. And the beauty about this experiment is, a
bag of marshmallows is so inexpensive. Toothpicks, pretty much anybody has toothpicks
at home. And, I can learn so many amazing concepts
of engineering, building, gravity, center of gravity. You see, you really want this structure to
have this amazing centered gravity, so that, If you really think about it, gravity’s
always trying to knock you down. In fact, unfortunately, when we get a little
older, you start to lean forward, because in your lifetime, your body has done nothing
but battle gravity. Which is why our backs arch as we get older. But, now look. I just made a three-dimensional cube. This is exactly one floor high. But the challenge is, could you create multi
floors. And, as you get it to go higher and higher,
it has to be stable. Stable on the table. You do not want it to be not balanced. The rules are you’re not allowed to hold
it up. This is a challenge. And you’re only allowed to use toothpicks;
you’re not allowed to get Scotch tape. Okay? That’s the challenge. And, as you can see already, mine is starting
to lean. Gravity’s always pulling on it. I’m only gonna make mine three toothpicks
high, just because I don’t need to make it bigger. That’s gonna be your challenge. Then, I’m gonna simulate an earthquake,
and then, I’m gonna see if my structure is still standing. And, there are other things that you can do,
actually, to try to make your structure more stable. Questions like, ‛What happens if you added
toothpicks across the squares?’ Something like this. Would this help? Would this help? Science is all about asking questions. Test them, and see what happens. That’s two toothpicks high, and now I’m
gonna go three toothpicks high. And by the way, if you don’t have marshmallows,
you can actually use gumdrops. My whole point of this is, you can build and
learn about structure and engineering and earthquakes, using any materials that you
have at home. Uh-oh, gravity. Stop. There we go, it does get a little harder as
you get higher. You gotta realize that, and you guys are gonna
get frustrated. Starts to look like the leaning Tower of Marshmallows. And, I’m just going to put my toothpicks
across the top, and then I’m gonna shake the table, and it’s earthquake time. Will my structure still be standing? Will it fall? If it does fall, what could I do differently
to try to get it to stay up? Science is all about asking amazing questions. Right now, it’s standing, and I am about
to make an earthquake. As I hit the table, the table’s gonna shake,
and let’s see what happens to my structure. Still standing. It’s stable on the table. Marshmallows, toothpicks, your challenge,
make a multi-story building, make it taller, shake the table, make an earthquake, and see
if it’s able to still be standing. I did it, can you?

81 thoughts on “How to Demonstrate Engineering Principles | Science Projects”

  1. why dont start with a tetrahedron instead of a cube, because a tetrahedron is structure by itself, with the least amount of points, angles, vectors. and it wont collapse. 

  2. To make a really stable structure you would need to bury a small animal alive in the foundation of the structure.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immurement#Human_sacrifice_when_constructing_buildings

  3. I have built a tower out of 12 sticks small sticks paper glue wood glue and coper and I'm going to crash it to see how strong it is.i also built a rocket mostly out of paper wood for nose cone and a para shore inside it . And now I'm building a catalpa it is so cool. I swear it is at technology class

  4. This is intriguing, but the simulation of earthquake is ineffective. By hitting the table, you were able to simulate only the vertical component of the earthquake waves which are often not that dangerous. You ought to simulate the horizontal component to really test your structure. 

  5. I have an assignment similar to the one displayed, only difference is, I have to use only straws that make my building 700mm high plus, able to support the weight of a brick and i cant reinforce the straws in anyway. Maximum straw count available to me is 90 🙁

  6. btw earthquake has horizontal acceleration force, shake the table horizontally as well then u can see the collapsing of your structure.

  7. Thank you!, i look filter through videos all day, everyday! You are awesome my friend. I home school my kids and i will sure be using your videos.Your vibe is just as we are at home, very enjoyable !

  8. I tried it. Mentally. Created a structure similar to the Parthenon which withstood the heaviest spin cycle on my washing machine. I won the challenge.

  9. Everyone is like "well I think it would have been better with a pythoredegon (not an actual thing) and im like…wow what a nice… square… o.e

  10. it still standing because the whole structure is able to go to different ways when you shake that table counteract and absorbing the shock wave.. would be interesting to see if that foundation is limited to any directions..

  11. Engineering = Math. You don't really get to this stuff until you actually graduate. I'm doing my 4th year and we've studied like 8 math courses so far -_-

    Calc 1
    Calc 2
    Linear Algebra
    Math 1
    Math 2
    Math 3
    Numerical Methods
    Signal Processing
    Foundations to Electromagnetics

    These are all math courses and there's more 😐

  12. This is the worst experiment in the world. Earthquake shakes the structure both horizontally and vertically. But horizontal shaking is more devastating which this experiment can not explain

  13. When he pounded on the table I was concerned for that expensive – looking microscope. That's a precision instrument, and it's getting shaken so bad it's walking across the table. That can't be good for it.

  14. I did this at my school Valentines Party But With gumdrops (heart shapes) and not a lot of supplies but I did a triangle formation to save very small amount of supplies

  15. My science teacher said we have to use a budget of $ 6000 which one toothpick is $50 and a marshmallow is $150 to build a 20cm tower

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