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Science Rocks!

Paper Cup Walk II


your results

Sent in by:
Mason of ME

Can just one cup hold your weight?

Materials Needed

  • large plastic party cups
  • large paper coffee cups
  • medium, thin plastic cups
  • mini paper cups
  • Styrofoam cups
  • 2 24" x 24" cardboard squares



  1. Check with a grown-up before you begin.
  2. Make sure you've got someone to spot you so you don't fall as you do your testing.
  3. Make a strong platform by gluing two pieces of cardboard together so that the lines in the cardboard are going in the opposite directions.
  4. In the ZOOMsci, Paper Cup Walk, you can test how many mini paper cups it takes to support your weight. Now, take it one step further.
  5. Put your platform on different kinds of cups to see which kind can hold your weight with the fewest number.

Is there a kind of cup that can hold your weight with just one? What is it about the different sizes and materials of the different types of cups that makes some stronger than others? Let us know what you discover.

Some of your Results

Ayshia, age 10 of W. Carrollton, OH wrote:
i fell off right when I got on it but I had fun

Doreen, age 7 of Las Vegas, NV wrote:
It crushed up a little bit when I was on but my sister holded up just fine. I suprized my friends with this zoomsci!

Madison, age 9 of Tempe, AZ wrote:
The coffee cups held me the most.

Carlee, age 10 of Covington, VA wrote:
I got 2 cups to support my weight and I weigh 130.

Elan, age 10 of Brooklyn, NY wrote:
I got 2 cups to support my weight.

Megan, age 7 of Greenville, SC wrote:
I could go down to six paper dixie cups under the cardboard. I think this is because the less weight you have the less cups you have to use. I weigh 58lbs.

Desirae, age 12 of Waukesha, WI wrote:
I did it at home last week. I tapted together to cups and did it in till I had about a dusin of them tap together.

Kaitlyn, age 11 of Harrisville, MI wrote:
I did this experiment for my project in school, I found that 9oz paper cups work best. I couldnt stand on just one niether could my little sister she weighs 33 lbs. I tried three types of cups and three weights. 7oz wax paper, 9oz paper, 16oz plastic. My sister was the only one who could stand on the plastic. The other weights were 111lbs and 89 lbs. I am in the fifth grade in alcona elementry.

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