Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Eiffel Tower (and the Awful Tower)

The Symbol of France

Possibly the most recognizable building in France, and maybe even the world, the Eiffel Tower has been gracing the skyline of Paris since 1889.  It was engineered by Gustave Eiffel as an impressive entrance to the 1889 World's Fair and since then has had over 250 million visitors.  That makes it is the most visited paid monument in the world.  It is also the tallest structure in France (and at one point the world), standing at 1050 ft. tall it is the equivalent of an 81 story building.  The tower has 3 platforms, the first and second are accessible by elevator (my choice) or a 300 step staircase for each level.  The third platform at the top is reached by elevator only- but really, climbing 900 steps is just showing off!!  Construction of the tower was begun in 1887 and was completed by 300 workers by the opening of the fair in 1889. 
 Pretty impressive considering the San Francisco Bay Bridge has been being rebuilt for at least 5 years with a much bigger crew and it's still not done!
The tower only had a permit for 20 years and was supposed to be dismantled in 1909, but because it was so useful as a communications tower (especially during the World Wars) it was allowed to stay.         Good decision Paris!!  

Our project today was to recreate the Eiffel Tower using stir sticks and marshmallows and tape.  I thought it would be easy. I was wrong.

The "Awful" Tower

For the project you will need-

  • stir sticks, tooth picks, straws, popsicle sticks, etc.
  • marshmallows - fun idea but sticky!
  • tape- lots of tape.  Duct tape was our friend.
  • Patience and 14 hands.
1.  Look at pictures of the Eiffel Tower and try to make a plan about how to go about making that.
2. Forget that plan- it's not going to work :)

3. Eat some marshmallows and get the duct tape.  Bend four of the sticks and tape them to the table as the 4 legs.

4. Brace the legs with some cross beams.  They were originally going to be joined with marshmallows but we found tape worked better.  My skewed tower shows some marshmallows being used.
5. Keep on keeping on and do the best you can. 

It should be fun but it was WAY harder than I thought it was going to be, so we brought in outside help from my brother Ryan, who works for United and used to build space satellites. 

 If he can build a satellite he should be able to make a tower out of straws, right?


That's French for "thank God it's finished"!!