By: Ms. Bordeanu
You are going to be engineers.
Rather than making a manipulated variable
investigation, you are going to design and
build something to solve a problem, using
the science you have learned!
YOUR TEAM’S JOB:
To build the tallest free-standing structure using
only spaghetti, string, and tape. The structure
must hold one marshmallow on top. You will only
be allowed 18 minutes to build and test the
Only these materials may be used: 20 pieces
of dry spaghetti, 1 meter of tape, 1 meter of
string, 1 marshmallow – MUST BE PLACED ON
TOP OF THE STRUCTURE.
STEP ONE: RESEARCH THE PROBLEM
Research the Problem: Describe any scientific
information needed to solve the problem and how
to collect that information.
What SCIENCE do you need to research to
solve this problem?
What things would you need to measure
scientifically before you start to solve the
Describe any scientific concepts that are
related to the problem.
STEP TWO: EXPLORE IDEAS
Explore Ideas: Describe several possible
solutions to the problem, including any useful
Brainstorm possible solutions to the
You must have at least two different ideas.
Have a scientific reason for each idea.
Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure:
The winning team is the one that has the tallest
structure measured from the table top 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: The 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
Break up the Spaghetti, String or Tape:
Teams are free to break the spaghetti, cut up the
tape and string to create new structures.
The building and testing stage 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.
MARSHMALLOW CHALLENGE: DAY 2
Number all pages of your ‘Marshmallow
Challenge’ Packet (page 1-6)
Teams: finalize the ‘Research and Explore’
and the ‘Plan and Test’ stages of your design
Be prepared to begin the work of creating your
free-standing structure. Review Rules!
MARSHMALLOW CHALLENGE: DAY 3
Redesign: Complete the prompt, score, discuss
Which designs worked best? Why?
Explain how to redesign the original
structure. You may use any of the original
materials, plus one or more of the new
6 additional spaghetti
6 popsicle sticks
1 sheet of 8.5 x 11 white paper