It's time for another great experiment with the Let's Find Out team - Captain Zoom and her human scientists friends Amy and Mark.

Watch the show on RTÉ Player here!

Zoom really wants to know how tall buildings stay up. Two curious kids show her how the shape of a tall building's structure is very important, and that triangles are stronger than squares.

The show is produced with support from Science Foundation Ireland and you can watch the experiment (to try with adult supervision!) and get a full lesson plan right here...

You will need:

  • Toothpicks
  • Longer skewers or toothpicks (1.4 times longer than the cocktail sticks)
  • Blu tac

What to do:

  • Roll the blu tac into small balls. You will make two towers and need at least 12 blu tack balls per tower.
  • First build a tower with square shapes; three sets of squares using four toothpicks as the sides and four blu tac balls as the corners. Stick each end of each toothpick into a blu tac ball to keep the square secure.
  • To build the square tower, place four toothpicks into each corner ball of blu tac, facing upwards and then fit a second square on top.
  • Repeat to add one more layer to your tower. Is it secure? Do you want to try adding another layer?
  • Next make another tower, as you did this one, except this time, place one of the longer sticks across the diagonal of each square side of the tower. This tower has triangular shapes.
  • Build the triangular shape tower as tall as the square shape tower, which one do you think is more stable?

The science bit...

You may have noticed that the triangular tower was more sturdy than the square one. One reason for this is that triangular shapes can spread the load they carry more evenly than a square shape and this means there are less weak points into the tower than may tilt or fall under their load.

Triangular shapes are often used in buildings, can you think of any triangular shapes you can spot in your house?

Also in this episode...

Mark and Amy show how to stop tall buildings from wobbling when it's windy - or if there’s an earthquake - by using a kind of pendulum called a damper. And the whole crew go see some very tall skyscrapers!

Click here to see all the experiments from the series!