The Spaghetti Challenge
THE WINNING TEAM
ABOUT THE CHALLENGE
Students were asked to build the tallest freestanding structure with a marshmallow on top. The best of TWO trials was used for determining the winner. Teams could use a maximum of twenty spaghetti sticks, 1 marshmallow, 1 yard of tape and 1 yard of string per trial. Each lasted 18 minutes.
Students learned to effectively collaborate in a team setting, apply critical and creative thinking to ambiguous problems and to persist through and learn from failure. The Marshmallow is a Metaphor for Hidden Assumptions of a Project: The assumption was that marshmallows were light and easily supported, but when actually building the structure that wasn’t the case. The lesson is that we must identify assumptions and test them early and often. Fail early, fail fast, and learn from failure - that is the mechanism for innovation.