There are a lot of engineering activities for kids out there, but not all of them are easy.
Today’s project is extremely simple, yet teaches some important information about engineering, construction, and critical thinking skills.
This project just goes to show that you don’t have to have fancy tools or a lot of elaborate planning or set up to help kids unlock the STEM side of their brains!
If you have spaghetti in your house (or any dried, long noodle), then you already have everything you need to create the spaghetti engineering project!
How to Do the Spaghetti Engineering Project
Follow along with these directions to learn how to set up your own spaghetti engineering activity for kids in elementary school.
You can follow along with how we did our experiment exactly, or you can do what we thought about doing originally, which was use spaghetti and candy or marshmallows to create stable 3D structures.
What You Need for the Spaghetti Engineering Challenge
- Marshmallows, candy, or glue (optional)
How to Set Up the Spaghetti Engineering Project
Originally, I had wanted Monkey to build a structure using spaghetti and marshmallows or some other sticky substance to create a structure.
However, Monkey was bored of creating 3D designs, and we didn’t have any marshmallows, so we decided to test the strength of spaghetti instead.
Before we started the project, I asked Monkey if she thought spaghetti would be more difficult to break if you had a handful rather than just one piece.
She said that she believed it would be more difficult to break. We decided to see how much spaghetti it would take before she could break it with her hands.
Directions for the Spaghetti Engineering Activity
First, I had Monkey break one piece. Next, we tried about 10 pieces.
I had Monkey continue to try to break the spaghetti pieces adding between 10 and 25 each time. When she reached about 100 pieces, she could no longer break the spaghetti.
We discussed how many materials used in manufacturing are layered and work together with multiple parts to increase the strength of various items.
Monkey really enjoyed breaking the spaghetti pieces, but she did inform me that she did not want to clean up the little pieces that fell off the table when our project was over.
The possibilities of this project are nearly endless.
Would you try this extremely easy spaghetti engineering project with your kids?