The Marshmallow Challenge



per student

Photo cred:

Photo cred:

Required materials:

spaghetti, string, marshmallow, masking tape, paper lunch bag (optional)


The Marshmallow Challenge is a remarkably fun and instructive design exercise that encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity. The task is simple: in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top. (

NGSS Alignment:

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)