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Building and Construction Science Fair Project

Testing the Strength of Domes

Testing the Strength of Domes | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
In this experiment, you'll be testing the strength of domes by increasing their diameter while keeping their height the same. You'll measure the amount of weight the dome can take before it collapses.


The hypothesis is that increasing the diameter of a dome structure while maintaining its height will decrease its strength.

Method & Materials

You will cut plywood into strips of different lengths, arrange bricks between two fixed pillars, and fix the plywood with the bricks at the sides. You will measure the distance between the bricks and record your measurements. You will then fix a pail at the center of the arch and gradually fill it with sand. You will record the weight of the sand in the bucket when the arch finally collapses.
You will need 4 plywood sheets, a large pail, 2 bags of sand, a weighing machine, an electric saw, a ruler, and 30 bricks.


The results show that increasing the diameter of the dome while maintaining its height will make the construction weaker, due to vertical stress. The hypothesis that increasing the diameter of a dome structure while maintaining its height will cause the vertical strength to be weakened has been proven to be true.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it tests the strength of domes, which are used in many different types of buildings. It also shows how the shape of a structure can affect its strength.

Also Consider

Variations of this experiment include using different types of wood, such as bamboo, oak, or redwood, and increasing the width and thickness of the plywood.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

Related videos

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