I subscribe to food writer Anna Jones’s newsletter as I love her recipes (I made her rhubarb and ginger cookies a few days ago), but for the past few weeks her newsletter has been renamed, “Goodness when we need it most”. She compiles a list of nice things happening at the moment, whether it be online choirs (like The Sofa Singers), live baking tutorials (like at Bread Ahead), or Instagram discos (like Jarvis Cocker’s), there’s at least one thing from every newsletter I’ve tried. This week, the inclusion of Dyson engineering tasks for kids caught my eye – if it’s for kids, that probably means it’s at my level, and it’ll be fun.
If you have kids or are just looking for some fun challenges to do, I can’t recommend that Dyson link enough. There are so many fun and educational tasks on there, that it’ll keep everyone entertained for ages. I can’t wait to try out some of the science experiments too, but for this week, I decided to make a bridge out of spaghetti, strong enough to hold a 250g bag of sugar.
The website provides some hints and suggestions but doesn’t outright tell you how to do it, so this was an amazing brain teaser for us. Using just spaghetti, some sticky tape, and some elastic bands, we slowly started making our structure.
At one point I realised I’d reinforced the sides more than the bottom, and although, as a test, it managed to hold up my phone, I wasn’t so confident it would hold up much more.
We were amazed when it managed to hold the 250g of sugar up, even more so at 500g, and again at 750g. We were buoyed by confidence and decided to go for the full 1kg bag of sugar.
It managed to hold it up for a couple of seconds, long enough to get evidence, before our beautiful bridge slowly folded in on itself and fell to the ground. I was so impressed that we managed to build something that could support this much weigh, just from spaghetti and sticky tape. I had so much fun doing this, and I think it’s a great activity for a rainy day with bored kids (or adults!).