Lower Elementary Students Take The Marshmallow Challenge

Posted: September 26, 2013

On Thursday, September 19, Mrs. Karp’s Lower Elementary second grade art students took designer Peter Skillman’s Marshmallow Challenge, which “encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity,” according to the website.

The Challenge is to create the tallest structure using 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, one yard of masking tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. In Mrs. Karp’s class, teams of four worked together to think outside of the box, problem-solve, and build a sturdy, free-standing structure with a marshmallow on top, all in just 18 minutes. “At first, I thought it was going to be really easy,” said Katie Collins. Many of the students went through a process of prototyping, trying one idea after another. Katie’s idea was to model their structure after the Eiffel Tower. “But it didn’t work,” she said, ”so we had to try something else.”

Miller Lillie described how each team member had different ideas, and part of the challenge was to choose which idea might work best. “A lot of people think a marshmallow is light, but it’s actually heavy,” Miller said. Christopher Sell echoed Miller’s thoughts and explained just how important it was to work as a team. “I think teamwork was the challenge,” he said. “We used my idea, but someone had to hold the structure up while the other was taping.” Though not all of the structures were successful, each team worked its hardest and challenged each other to think creatively.

–Laura Dempsey

Last Updated: September 27, 2013