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The Marshmallow Challenge
Transcript of The Marshmallow Challenge
Time and Measurement
Things to Keep in Mind
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.
Your team's challenge is to build the tallest freestanding (this means it cannot be attached to another thing like a chair or desk) structure that supports an ENTIRE marshmallow.
20 Sticks of Spaghetti
One Yard of Tape
One Yard of String
One Standard-Sized Marshmallow
The Business School students spend most of their planning, THEN building the structure. They are left with almost no time to fix the design once they put the marshmallow on top. Don't let this happen to your team.
Modified from Tom Wujec's TED Conference
Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure:
The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table top 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:
Your 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:
Your team is free to break the spaghetti, cut up the tape and string to create new structures.
The Challenge Lasts 20 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.
Measure the Structures:
I will measure each standing structure with a measuring tape. I will measure from the base to the top of the marshmallow.
Kids do Better than College Business Students:
On virtually every measure of innovation, kindergarteners create taller and more interesting structures.
The reason kids do better than business school students is kids spend more time prototyping. (Prototyping is spending time testing, redesigning, and/or fixing your model)