Physics 11 – Dalesandro
Lab #3 – The Force of Gravity
Instructions: You will be attempting to design and construct the highest tower from the
materials given that can successfully resist the force of gravity.
Phase 1 – Thinking/Planning Phase. Sit in your normal lab groups at a lab table. Brainstorm design ideas for your paper tower construction. Consider things like stability, strength, and risk as you decide on a design. Use paper and pencil to sketch your groups’ idea. You will need to include these preliminary drawings with your final write-up for full value. Settle all in-group disagreements by majority vote or (if tied) a coin flip, rock-paper-scissors game, or other decider.
Phase 2 – Construction Phase. Be aware of your limited resources at all times. You are trying to construct a tower which will be stable, free-standing, and high. Your tower will need to successfully resist the force of gravity. With these objectives in mind, begin construction of your paper tower. Be careful – no supplies will be refreshed or replaced during the lab period. Be sure to sketch your finished tower upon completion.
Note: Your tower may be taped to the floor, but cannot be supported in any other way
(including leaning on or being secured to your lab table, walls, the ceiling, or by a lab
group member’s hand or body).
Phase 3 – Measurement Phase. Mr. Dalesandro will verify your tower’s height using a metre stick. His measurement is official and final.
Due date: Friday, March 18th.
Prize: The group with the highest verified paper tower wins a bag of Gummi Bears.
Lab Write-Up Sections:
Purpose: To construct the free-standing paper tower which is best able to resist the
force of gravity, using only the materials given.
Materials: One sheet of chart paper, one metre of masking tape, pair of scissors.
Observations: Create a table showing your group’s tower height and those of the
other groups’ towers. Sketch your tower and the winning tower as well.
Be sure to include your preliminary design work and ideas.
Results: 1) How did your group do?
2) What problems did you encounter?
3) What could have been done better? Explain.
Conclusion: Your group’s opinion of the lab. What did you learn from the activity (if