These simple demo’s suggest that paper is a very weak material because it cannot support its own weight and bends very easily.
However! There are other ways we can test the strength of paper. We could try stretching it instead of putting it in a situation where we are allowing it to bend.
If we hold near one end of a piece of paper with both hands at the sides (fingers below and thumbs above gripping tightly but not crumpling the paper) we can have a ‘tug of war’ with another person on the opposite end of the sheet! Take care not to pull too hard or the paper will tear and you may fall back!!!
The paper usually lasts long enough in the tug of war to make the point that paper is quite strong when we test it by trying to stretch it!
So! The original question really wasn’t a very good question at all because paper is weak when we try and bend it but strong when we try and stretch it!
The conclusion is that the term ‘strength’ requires a proper definition. We must be clear about the way in which a FORCE is applied to a material before we can learn anything about the strength of the material.
A paper sheet is poor at resisting a BENDING FORCE but very good at resisting a STRETCHING FORCE.