Subject:​ ​Physics​ ​and​ ​Design​ ​Principles  

Marshmallow​ ​Tower icon: Goal Participants​ ​will​ ​be​ ​introduced​ ​to​ ​basic​ ​concepts​ ​such​ ​as​ ​engineering​ ​structures​ ​and​ ​efficiently​ ​using limited​ ​available​ ​resources.​ ​Participants​ ​will​ ​make​ ​a​ ​tower​ ​out​ ​of​ ​spaghetti​ ​and​ ​see​ ​how​ ​high​ ​up​ ​they​ ​can place​ ​the​ ​marshmallow​ ​without​ ​the​ ​tower​ ​collapsing.

Info 15​ ​students,​ ​90​ ​minutes

Materials​ ​(5​ ​teams) 200​ ​Spaghetti​ ​sticks​ ​(avoid​ ​spaghettini) 20​ ​Marshmallows​ ​(standard​ ​size) 20​ ​yds​ ​Masking​ ​tape 20​ ​yds​ ​String x5​ ​Scissors 20​ ​Paper​ ​lunch​ ​bags x1​ ​Measuring​ ​tape

Preparation For​ ​each​ ​team,​ ​create​ ​marshmallow​ ​challenge​ ​kits​ ​containing​ ​the​ ​following: -​ ​twenty​ ​sticks​ ​of​ ​spaghetti -​ ​one​ ​yard​ ​of​ ​masking​ ​tape -one​ ​yard​ ​of​ ​string -one​ ​marshmallow These​ ​ingredients​ ​should​ ​be​ ​placed​ ​into​ ​a​ ​paper​ ​lunch​ ​bag,​ ​which​ ​simplifies​ ​distribution​ ​and​ ​hides​ ​the contents,​ ​maximizing​ ​the​ ​element​ ​of​ ​surprise. The​ ​actual​ ​marshmallow​ ​challenge​ ​takes​ ​eighteen​ ​minutes.​ ​Eighteen​ ​minutes​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​magic time.​ ​Twenty​ ​minutes​ ​is​ ​too​ ​long​ ​and​ ​fifteen​ ​is​ ​too​ ​short.

Class​ ​Instructor​ ​Instructions​ ​(10) 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​:​ ​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​ ​their​ ​structure. 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​ ​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.

Start​ ​the​ ​Challenge​ ​(18) Start​ ​the​ ​countdown​ ​clock​ ​and​ ​the​ ​music​ ​with​ ​the​ ​start​ ​of​ ​the​ ​challenge. Remind​ ​the​ ​Teams​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Time​:​ ​Countdown​ ​the​ ​time.​ ​Usually,​ ​I​ ​call​ ​12​ ​minutes,​ ​9​ ​minutes​ ​(halfway through),​ ​7​ ​minutes,​ ​5​ ​minutes,​ ​3​ ​minutes,​ ​2​ ​minutes,​ ​1​ ​minute,​ ​30​ ​seconds​ ​and​ ​a​ ​ten-second countdown. Call​ ​Out​ ​How​ ​the​ ​Teams​ ​are​ ​Doing​:​ ​Let​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​group​ ​know​ ​how​ ​teams​ ​are​ ​progressing.​ ​Call​ ​out​ ​each time​ ​a​ ​team​ ​builds​ ​a​ ​standing​ ​structure.​ ​Build​ ​a​ ​friendly​ ​rivalry.​ ​Encourage​ ​people​ ​to​ ​look​ ​around.​ ​Don’t be​ ​afraid​ ​to​ ​raise​ ​the​ ​energy​ ​and​ ​the​ ​stakes. Remind​ ​the​ ​Teams​ ​that​ ​Holders​ ​will​ ​be​ ​Disqualified​:​ ​Several​ ​teams​ ​will​ ​have​ ​the​ ​powerful​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​hold on​ ​to​ ​their​ ​structure​ ​at​ ​the​ ​end.​ ​Usually​ ​because​ ​the​ ​marshmallow,​ ​which​ ​they​ ​just​ ​placed​ ​onto​ ​their structure​ ​moments​ ​before,​ ​causing​ ​the​ ​structure​ ​to​ ​buckle.​ ​The​ ​winning​ ​structure​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​stable.

Finish​ ​the​ ​Challenge​ ​(10) After​ ​the​ ​clock​ ​runs​ ​out,​ ​ask​ ​everyone​ ​in​ ​the​ ​room​ ​to​ ​sit​ ​down​ ​so​ ​everyone​ ​can​ ​see​ ​the​ ​structures.​ ​Likely, just​ ​over​ ​half​ ​the​ ​teams​ ​will​ ​have​ ​standing​ ​structures. Measure​ ​the​ ​Structures​:​ ​From​ ​the​ ​shortest​ ​standing​ ​structure​ ​to​ ​the​ ​tallest,​ ​measure​ ​and​ ​call​ ​out​ ​the heights.​ ​If​ ​you’re​ ​documenting​ ​the​ ​challenge,​ ​have​ ​someone​ ​record​ ​the​ ​heights. Identify​ ​the​ ​Winning​ ​Team​:​ ​Ensure​ ​they​ ​get​ ​an​ ​ovation. Wrap​ ​up​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Lessons​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Marshmallow​ ​Challenge​:​ ​Describe​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​key​ ​lessons​ ​of​ ​the marshmallow​ ​challenge. Kids​ ​do​ ​Better​ ​than​ ​Adults​:​ ​On​ ​virtually​ ​every​ ​measure​ ​of​ ​innovation,​ ​kindergarteners​ ​create​ ​taller​ ​and

more​ ​interesting​ ​structures. Prototyping​ ​Matters​:​ ​The​ ​reason​ ​kids​ ​do​ ​better​ ​than​ ​business​ ​school​ ​students​ ​is​ ​kids​ ​spend​ ​more​ ​time playing​ ​and​ ​prototyping.​ ​They​ ​naturally​ ​start​ ​with​ ​the​ ​marshmallow​ ​and​ ​stick​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sticks.​ ​The​ ​Business School​ ​students​ ​spend​ ​a​ ​vast​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​time​ ​planning,​ ​then​ ​executing​ ​on​ ​the​ ​plan,​ ​with​ ​almost​ ​no​ ​time to​ ​fix​ ​the​ ​design​ ​once​ ​they​ ​put​ ​the​ ​marshmallow​ ​on​ ​top.

Tips Wrap​ ​Up​:​ ​Generally,​ ​a​ ​tight​ ​presentation​​ ​introducing​ ​the​ ​challenge​ ​will​ ​motivate​ ​the​ ​team.​ ​Let​ ​them know​ ​this​ ​challenge​ ​has​ ​been​ ​conducted​ ​by​ ​tens​ ​of​ ​thousands​ ​of​ ​people​ ​in​ ​every​ ​continent,​ ​from​ ​the CFOs​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Fortune​ ​50​ ​to​ ​Students​ ​at​ ​all​ ​levels.​ ​The​ ​lessons​ ​learned​ ​are​ ​universal. Contributors Max​ ​Gochioco​:​ ​ ​Adapted​ ​the​ ​popular​ ​marshmallow​ ​challenge​ ​into​ ​a​ ​lesson​ ​plan​ ​format. External​ ​Resources http://marshmallowchallenge.com/TED_Talk.html

Marshmallow Tower icon

Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure​: The winning team is the one that ... Prototyping Matters​: The reason kids do better than business school ... Max Gochioco​: Adapted the popular marshmallow challenge into a lesson plan format.

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