Friday, May 30, 2014

Building a Roman Arch Out of Cake




Before trying to build an arch out of ice...


...I prepped the children by showing them a video of a high school, in-class, arch building challenge.




Watching the teens puzzle out the problem got us ready to give it a try ourselves.  The children suggested we buy a set of blocks like the ones they were using in the video.  Actually, that particular block set has been on my wish list for a while, but I can never quite justify its expense for the amount of use I think it would get.

Even so, I found myself poised over the "Add to Cart" button on Amazon (this is not an affiliate link)...



...before coming to my senses and simply making a copy of the picture to enlarge, and cut out as template for making...



...a cake block version.  Who doesn't like cake, right?  I got a little carried away enlarging the picture, so we needed two cakes - even better.


We froze the cakes overnight, before cutting out our blocks, to make them harder, and easier to build with.


The girls insisted on adding frosting for mortar between the blocks.  I didn't think it should be necessary, but it sounded like it might make for a tastier cake.


Amazingly, they got the arch to stand...


...until they added a final layer of frosting.


I'm not sure if it was the extra weight, the moisture from the frosting, or just that our cake blocks were beginning to thaw...


...but the frosted arch showed immediate structural stress, and then suffered a catastrophic collapse. It was very sad.
 

On the bright side though...


...there was cake.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

3 comments:

Cristy said...

This series on arches is awesome! I wish you'd done this last year when we were actually studying the Roman empire. I never thought about having my kids try to build arches for themselves. (head slap)

I think I am going to get them to try these anyway.

Phyllis said...

Let them eat cake!! Oh, this is so fantastic in many ways. What creativity and innovation! You and your children are brilliant!!

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

I had to giggle about this engineering mishap, but the arch is amazing!