Let’s just say that day two of year two was amazing! The $2.95 I spent on supplies for the marshmallow challenge activity was money well-spent! I hope this becomes an annual activity for the first week of school.
When my students entered the classroom, they saw this message on the Smart Board.
The Marshmallow Challenge
Of course, they instantly wanted to know what The Marshmallow Challenge was. Even more than that, they wanted to know if they got to eat marshmallows…
I used the following slide to explain the rules:
I learned about The Marshmallow Challenge from watching this TED Talk. The premise is simple. In groups of four, students are given 18 minutes to construct the tallest tower possible using 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 yard tape, 1 yard string.
The tower must be freestanding, and it must support a marshmallow. The marshmallow must be the highest point on the structure.
I had so much fun just walking around and eavesdropping on the conversations that ensued as students discussed the best way to build their towers. I liked that there was a clearly defined time limit because it forced my students to really focus.
And before I share with you the results, I have to tell you about what I learned. Some people eat dry spaghetti. I fully expected my students to ask to eat the extra marshmallows. But spaghetti?
Here are some of the results:
I loved where my students were going with this tower, but it definitely did not remain standing after they let go.
This team argued that they should win an award for building the sturdiest tower even if it wasn’t the tallest.
The Second Highest Tower of the Day: 64 centimeters
This is another tower with impressive height that immediately collapsed.
This 9 centimeter tower was the only tower that actually remained standing one class period.
The Tallest Tower of the Day: 64.5 centimeters
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