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Virtual Kids Club: Winter 2021


The Strongest Shape

The Challenge: Form single pieces of paper into a variety of column shapes and test to see which shape can support the most weight.



  • Use copy or printer paper of regular thickness for this challenge (not cardstock).
  • Fold your pieces of papers into the following column shapes. (You can have a bit of overlap when creating these shapes, but try and keep it the same for all columns):

Square column 

Fold one piece of paper in half and then fold each end in half again towards the center fold, so the paper is split into four even segments. Fold the paper into a square and secure it with tape.

Triangular column

Fold another piece of paper into thirds to create a triangular column and secure it with tape.

Circular Column

Tape the edges together and secure it with tape.

  • Before you begin testing the strength of each of the columns, what are your predictions? Which column do you think will be the strongest and why? Which column do you think will be the weakest and why?
  • Stand each column up and carefully place books on top of each one, stacking the books until the column collapses. Use the same books in the same order to test each column.
  • Record how many book each column holds.

Questions to Think About Afterwards


  • Were your predictions about the strongest and weakest columns correct?
  • Were you surprised by your results? Why or why not?
  • Where have you seen columns in real life? What was their purpose?


Keep your brain in shape with our booklist for elementary school students.

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