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Build a Geodesic Dome

Science Museum Group

Can you build a dome that stands up? 

Find some drinking straws and discover how to make a self-supporting dome with this easy to follow video 👇

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The science behind your dome…

Some of the straws in this activity are in compression: they are being squashed, and as a result they produce a force that pushes back. It is those forces that support the weight of the dome. The other straws are in tension: they are being stretched, and as a result they produce a force that pulls back. These tension forces prevent the structure from splaying apart and collapsing. 

It is this combination of tension and compression forces that makes a triangle a strong shape, and the interconnected triangles in this activity make the dome a stable, self-supporting structure. 

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