Marshmallows in the classroom mean challenge and cooperation

Image: Brenya, Jorge and Amber start their project.

Brenya, Jorge and Amber start their project. (Submitted Photo)

The Marshmallow Challenge is an activity meant to increase teamwork and brainstorming skills, said IHS Science teach Ms. Schweitzer. “I heard of the challenge from a TED Talk online. The students were told their goal: create the tallest free-standing tower out of the materials given to them, with a marshmallow placed on top.”

The materials given to them were: 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of string, and the marshmallow. They had 18 minutes to build their tower.

Ms. Schweitzer said, "As I observed the students doing the challenge there was a lot of trial and error with times where they had to stop and brainstorm new ideas. It was interesting to see if a leader formed in the group, or if they all worked together equally.

After the 18 minutes were complete, I went around the room and measured the height of each group’s structure to see whose was the tallest. Then we discussed the challenge and talked about what parts were difficult and how the groups overcame those difficulties.

Each of my classes did this challenge, so that includes Physics students, Chemistry students, and IPC students, which is a total of 77 students.

The tallest tower out of all the groups was 20 inches tall. We had a lot of fun doing the Marshmallow Challenge!"