Measurement
UK Primary (3-6)
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Marshmallow Challenge (Investigation)
Lesson

The Marshmallow Challenge

The goal of "The Marshmallow Challenge" is to build the tallest, free-standing structure that is able to support the weight of one large marshmallow.

You Will Need
  • 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti
  • One metre of tape
  • One metre of string
  • One large marshmallow
  • Scissors

Instructions

Give each group a set of the above materials. Each group should have 4 to 5 people.

Each group must work together to create the tallest, free-standing structure that will hold the marshmallow in 18 MINUTES.

After the 18 minutes have passed, all groups are to step away from the table and the judge will go around and measure each structure from the table to the bottom of the marshmallow. The group with the highest structure that is still standing is the winning group.

Rules

  • The ENTIRE marshmallow must be at the top of the structure. Don't try to break up the marshmallow.
  • The structure must be free-standing, meaning that it can't hang from anything and you must not hold onto it once the 18 minutes are up.
  • You don't have to use all the materials. You can cut/break all the other materials however you like.
     
Discussion Questions

1. How did your group decide how to build your structure?

2. Why do you think some structures are stronger than others?

3. Do you think the size/shape of the base affected the strength of the structure? Why or why not?

4. Does the placement of the marshmallow affect whether or not you were successful?

5. After looking at how other groups did, what might you change if you had a second chance?

For more insight and information about the outcomes of "The Marshmallow Challenge," click on the following: http://www.marshmallowchallenge.com/Welcome.html

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