Marshmallow Challenge

  • This is a team dynamics, to start working with our partners and to create good workflows.

    We will work in teams to build, in 18 minutes, the tallest tower possible that support a marshmallow on its top.

    We will use:

    • 20 sticks of dry spaghetti
    • one yard of string
    • one yard of tape
    • one marshmallow



    Students will be able to...

    • Understand the importance of teamwork and failure in science and engineering
    • Understand that some shapes are stronger than others
    • Understand that even weak materials can be made stronger with good design techniques, and that distribution of mass is an important consideration when building a tower
    • Understand that compression and tension affect the stability of a structure
    • Compare their model to others to understand why some models are stronger than others
    • Understand why engineers consider tension and compression forces when designing a building or structure


    The RULES

    ✦Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure: The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the tabletop surface to the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling, or chandelier.
    ✦The Entire Marshmallow Must Be On Top: The entire marshmallow needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow disqualifies the team.
    ✦Use as Much or as Little of the Kit: Team can use as many or as few of the 20 spaghetti sticks, as much or as little of the string or tape.The team cannot use the paper bag as part of its structure.
    ✦Break up the Spaghetti, String or Tape: Teams are free to break the spaghetti and to cut up the tape and string to create new structures.
    ✦The Challenge Lasts 18 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise will be disqualified.