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Science Project: The Strength of Sand

How strong could a bunch of a teeny-tiny particles be? They’re so small how could there any strength to them. Well, this science project will redefine the old phrase, strength in numbers. Test how strong sand can be and fool your friends and maybe even teachers!

Materials:

  • Cardboard tube from a roll of paper towel
  • Sand can be found at craft or garden stores if not close to beach or desert
  • Sheet of tissue paper
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Stick - dowel rod approximately 1 foot in length or a drumstick works well

Procedure:

  1. Cut the tissue into 2 squares with 8 inch sides.
  2. Place the tissue square over one end of the cardboard tube and secure it there with a rubber band twisted around the tissue and tube.
  3. Get a friend to take the stick and see if they can puncture a hole in the tissue paper that’s covering the end of the tube. Should be pretty easy to do so.
  4. Replace the square of tissue paper with a new intact one and secure it the same way you did the last, but this time fill the tube ¾’s of the way up with sand.
  5. Now have your friend again try and puncture a hole in the tissue paper. What’s your hypothesis of what will happen? Are they going to get sand all over the floor or will the force of sand stymie them?

So Much Sand! How Much Sand Is There in the World?Courtesy of projects.math.arizona.edu

What should happen is that the sand in the tube will prevent the stick from piercing the tissue paper. When the stick pushes against the sand, the sand particles respond by pushing against the walls of the cardboard tube much like a plug in the drain of a tub. So even that little amount of sand makes the tissue paper a nearly impenetrable surface.

Gives you a whole new perspective on sand castles, huh? Maybe they are secure fortresses after all!

Have your say!

What do you think would happen if the sand was wet sand? Think about how a sand castle feels and holds it’s shape. How would wet sand change this experiment? Would the sand be stronger or weaker? Share your hypothesis in the comment’s section below!

 

21 Comments

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Poll_sand

How do you feel about sand at the beach?

  • I love the warm sand at the beach! I could lay in it all day.
  • I hate sand so much! I don't like going to the beach and getting sand in everything! Ick!
  • My favorite thing to do at the beach is build sand castles so I guess I like sand.
  • I don't mind the sand, unless it ends up in my mouth- ugg that's so gross!

Random In The Forums

Pink_Cool_Girl
Yes. They actually are. 
reply about 2 hours
rainbowpoptart
"Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote:Anyways, I know girls are into cleaning and dolls, and you have a very good point there. But your also missing it.  I feel like I addressed everything.. Which part of your point am I missing?   "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote:ANOTHER thing is the computer for boys and girls. One computer is $12.99. 50 functions. Blue and white. AKA for boys.    Girls: -White and pink -9 dollars -25 DAMN FUNCTIONS I suppose that does look a bit problematic. Are they the same brand?
reply about 3 hours
Pink_Cool_Girl
Oh Rainbowpoptart. Where were you. Anyways, I know girls are into cleaning and dolls, and you have a very good point there. But your also missing it. ANOTHER thing is the computer for boys and girls. One computer is $12.99. 50 functions. Blue and white. AKA for boys. Girls:-White and pink-9 dollars-25 DAMN FUNCTIONSProve anything to you yet? 
reply about 3 hours
Pink_Cool_Girl
"Powerslave" wrote:Generally boys are more into things that are more competitive, violent etc. and girls are generally into beauty, dolls and things of that nature. These toys reflect that idea.Yes, but new feminists are being born each day. See, I hate pink, beauty, and I cringe at the name "Shopping". I know others don't, but most do. Speaking of which, I was on ROBLOX today when someone said "Girls are noobs".  I was extremely offended by this. I know this got off topic, but still. Girls shouldn't be influenced by toys and gender roles. 
reply about 3 hours
rainbowpoptart
Companies create products targeted towards a specific audience.     Toys specifically targeted towards girls are pink and frilly or about professions mostly girls have aren't that way because it's sexist, they're that way because girls generally like the colour pink, pretending to cook (because cooking is really fun), and enjoy taking care of their stuffed animals or baby dolls as if they were actual living things. (These things also teach them skill sets that will be helpful to them in the future, such as how to raise a child if you have any and how to cook so you don't starve to death.)      Toys specifically targeted towards boys are blue or green and/or related to guns and cars and gross bugs/animals because that's what guys are generally into. (And I haven't heard of any science kits targeted specifically towards boys..? Every science kit advert I've seen has had both males and females in it, and I've seen a rather nice amount of them.) That's just the way we are. Nothing will change that. I don't think toys [and other things] should be specifically gendered. Anyone can do and play with anything. Just because it's targeted towards girls or because girls generally have this job more than boys do, doesn't mean a boy can't play with that toy or have that job and vice versa. A product being for this one gender shouldn't stop people of the other gender from buying it. This probably wasn't as coherent as I'd like for it to be, but today's science lesson completely fried my brain, and I don't think I can properly do anything except breathe for the next few hours.
reply about 3 hours