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IB Design Tech Design Cycle

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Majid Jamialahamdi MJ

Tallest Straw Design


Identify Needs

In December 10, 2009 Mr.Youmans told us to create the tallest straw building by just using straws. The point of this project was to be creative and use our engineering skills to create a straw building that will have a strong support.


I thought of a way to create the tallest straw building by creating support inside the building and thickening the base. I opened Netscape internet browser and started researching the best straw building.  I used the picture on http://www.mysciencebox.org/files/images/Earthquake%20tower.img_assist_custom.jpg to create my building and the reason why I chose it is because it resembles the buildings that are used today.


Generating Ideas

For the building I used 55 straws and 55 straw papers to tie the straws together so they won’t fall apart.

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Developing Solutions

  1. Took 55 straws and 55 straw papers.
  2. Tied 3 straws together to form a bundle.
  3. Used 4 bundles to form a square and 2 bundles to cross the square to make the base.
  4. Used 4 bundles to tie on each side of the base going in a vertical direction to create the height.
  5. Kept on adding bundles of straw until it reached 5 inches.
  6. Every 5 inches a base was added with the same design in step 3 to support the tower.
  7. For the side of the tower, 2 bundles were crossed to form a 40 degrees angle between the bases to prevent the straws from bending.
  8. Step 1-7 was repeated until the 55 straws were finished.
  9. The maximum height of the tower reached to 2 feet 5 inches.

Realizing Solution

My goal for the tower has been reached and the tower so far was holding still.

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There were some problems I encountered that were mostly my fault but I did reach my goal and that was to use all the 55 straws and make it over 2 feet. Working individually was very difficult especially the fact that I had to create over 20 bundles in 2 days. Also, the paper that I used to tie the straws together took my time away because I ripped approximately 26 papers. Overall the design that I have created was very creative and the tower resembles the building that are used today.  

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