The Marshmallow Tower: Grades 5-6
In this lesson, students will use marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti to create a freestanding tower. The goal of this lesson is to help students understand engineering and the importance of teamwork.
Materials Needed Per Group
- 20 sticks of spaghetti
- one yard of tape
- one yard of string
- one marshmallow
Preparation (before students arrive)
- Create bundles of materials for each group.
- Ask students what engineers do.
- Inform students that today they are going to be engineers.
- Assign students to groups of four.
- Give students 15 minutes to build the tallest structure they can build using the resources provided. The structure must stand on its own and the marshmallow must be on top.
- Tell students they do not have to use all of the resources.
- Each group will have a chance to present their work, discuss their process, and give their measurement.
- Ask: Is this the structure you first thought you would build? What were some obstacles you met on the way and how did you overcome them?
Note: As students work in teams, circulate the room to see how well they are working together. Are all students contributing? If not, ask students who are not working to make a suggestion for their team to try.