This Week’s Challenge
The marshmallow challenge, sometimes called the spaghetti tower challenge, is quite popular. The task is simple, yet teaches a profound lesson and requires lots of teamwork: “in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.” (http://marshmallowchallenge.com/Welcome.html)
Materials (per team)
- 20 sticks of spaghetti
- 1 yard of tape
- 1 yard of string
- 1 marshmallow
- 1 pair of scissors
- Build the tallest, freestanding (must stand on its own) structure
- The marshmallow must be on top of the tower
- You do not need to use all of the supplies
- You are free to break up the spaghetti, string, and tape
- You will not be given extra supplies
- You will have exactly 18 minutes
- After the 18 mins. are up, the tower must stand on its own to be measured
- The team with the tallest tower wins
What a challenge! Teams worked really hard to build a tower that would stand on its own. Eventually, however, most teams gave up. This is only the beginning of the year and our second STEM activity. I hope through doing these, students learn not only how to think critically and creatively, but also how to work cooperatively and not have a “giving up” attitude.
In the end, Southern Ocean had the only standing tower at a height of 8 inches. They did a great job working together and building a structure strong enough to hold the marshmallow. I loved their use of the string to hold it all together!
Great job, friends!