IGG Interest Badge Ladybird STEM Option 07

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Paper Cup Stand


 Paper/Plastic Cups
 Pieces of strong cardboard, cut into 24 x 16 cm


Aim of Badge
To discover STEM in an easy and fun way, through simple experiments and activities.

This Badge has 12 options of which 5 must be completed
(1 Leader Demonstration Option and 4 Ladybird Options)

How can you stand on a paper cup without breaking it?

 Divide the Ladybirds into 4 teams with plenty of space
 Ask each team to help one of the team to try and stand on one cup
 Yes, one paper cup will break if you stand on it
 So, how can you stand on a paper cup without breaking it?
 Try spacing several cups out evenly and then place a sheet of cardboard on the top.
 You should find that the cups can now hold your weight
 Try added extra level.

Why does this happen?
When we stood on one cup it broke straight away as we expected. This is because all our weight was pushing down on the cup, compressing it.
However, if you arrange the cups neatly spaced apart and place a piece of cardboard over the top, the weight is spread out meaning there isn’t too much weight on any one cup.
Attachments/Template needed for activity? None


  • Branch Weekend 2018
  • interest badge
  • Interest Badge Ladybird STEM
  • Ladybird STEM
  • paper cups
  • South West Regional Conference 2018
  • Stand
  • Trefoil News Summer 2018

Badge Links

This activity doesn't complete any badge requirements