Ok a lot of connectors.
After we had enough we challenged the children to create a frame for the community buildings that used these connectors.
We continued using these components to explore frames and structures along with the children. They used masking tape to hold the joints together and to keep the base of the straws from moving, allowing their structures to become taller and taller.
Inevitably, for obvious reasons, they identify that triangular shapes allow them to make taller and taller structures. Due to the weight and instability of these straw structures, we were not able to reproduce them with the tubes. So to create a system that would allow the children to create straw structures that could be translated to tubes and be stable, we turned to truss designs. One of the simplest frame designs is made of interlocking octahedral and tetrahedral unit elements, and is called an octet truss. We decided to make a node that allowed the children to design these octet structures. We started with laser cut cardboard pizza boxes.