STEM activities are a lot of fun and educational, but the best kind of STEM activities are open-ended, allowing children to think for themselves. In this marshmallow shape towers STEM challenge, kids are challenged to make a marshmallow tower, but not only make a tower, but to make a tower using specific shapes. They must follow all elements of a real design process, including brainstorming, blueprints, prototypes, tweaking, and testing their designs.
Marshmallow Shape Towers STEM Challenge
You need a few supplies for this challenge:
- Marshmallows (use big or little for different effects)
- Toothpicks (colored ones are more fun)
- Examples of shapes to try
Tell the kids they must construct a marshmallow tower, but only from specific 3D shapes. This becomes tricky the instant you start adding levels to your towers!
For a greater challenge, give each child a specific shape they must build with. One might be only able to build with triangles, while another, octagons. It’s your choice to decide if the kids must use 3D shapes or can use flat shapes to complete their towers.
What designs worked best? What designs were not as good? What were the best parts and worst parts of each design? How could the kids improve on them in the future?
Marshmallow Shape Towers STEM Challenge Explained
The thing that makes this shape tower more challenging is that the kids must use specific shapes in their designs. It gets pretty tricky to stack marshmallows when they must be in a specific shape and pattern. One fun variation on this activity is to vary the size of the marshmallows, which makes the experiment both a bit easier in some ways and harder in others. The more marshmallows you have, the more elaborate the structures can be!