Marshmallow Challenge

20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 yard of tape. 1 yard of string, 1 marshmallow, and 18 minutes is all each group had to create the tallest free-standing structure. The structure had to be strong enough to support the weight of a marshmallow, without falling or breaking. “Somehow we worked together really well, even though we had never talked before” told Max Klees

Making your marshmallow the tallest in the room using these basic material was the directive, but the real purpose was to get students to work as a team and then discuss how each group took different steps to met the same goal.  Advisory Challenge student led the activity and encouraged students to make this connection.  “[We used] it to show teamwork and experiment on who can make the tallest structure”, said Challenge student Audrey Waln.

The homeroom students divided into groups of 3-5 to create their structures for 18 minutes. Some finished before the time, others barely made the cut. Many of the structures collapsed under the weight of the marshmallow but few stood and they were extremely interesting structures.  Another senior explained “we just tried to make it as tall as possible, and somehow it stayed standing”.

After everyone had looked at what their peers had created, they all formed new ideas on how they could have improved their own and what they would do if they could do it over. Senior Hunter Waslicki informed me “We worked really well together and we definitely made it taller than I did the last time we had this challenge”  The experiment proved to be accomplish its goal – teams developed new relationships completing a common task.  It is certain Advisory students would like to see more of these types of activities again.∎

Article by Bridget Obligato, photographs from Dani Ganser.