Tetrahedron 01

OPENING QUESTION:  How are airplane wings made stronger by internal supports?


LEARNING GOAL FOR TODAY: I will design, build and test a tetrahedron 'support' during class this week.



PRIMARY GOAL: To achieve the highest possible weight - to - strength ratio when building a 7.0 cm tetrahedron support structure entirely of BALSA.

PROCEDURE: Design, build, test, redesign, rebuild and retest a 7.0 cm per side tetrahedron strut.

SCORING: 75% results, 25% Write up

Secondary Goal: Learn how to 'tissue' a 3 dimensional structure in preparation for building a 3-d glider after break.


  • Your support strut can ONLY be built of individual struts.
  • You may NOT laminate.
  • You MUST use balsa wood and ONLY balsa wood
  • You can build a total of 3 tetrahedrons. One of which you must use to practice tissuing (you won't crush that one)
  • Competition will involve using physics text books to measure crush weight.

NOTE: Remember! The goal is not to see which tetrahedron can support the most books. The goal is to achieve the highest strength - to - weight ratio.