DIY Science: Marshmallow Constructions

  • by National Office
  • 17 August, 2021
DIY Science: Marshmallow Constructions

What you need:

  • marshmallows
  • drinking straws
  • scissors

What to do:

  1. Split up into teams of at least two people.
  2. Give each team a packet of straws and marshmallows and a pair of scissors.
  3. Make a square out of straws cut to about 3/4 length and use the marshmallows as corner joiners. Now make another square.
  4. Make a cube using the two squares you have already made as the top and bottom of the cube. Use four more 3/4 length straws as the risers.
  5. Use some full length straws as cross braces across the middle of some of the faces of the cube.
  6. Now compete in some challenges:
    • tallest tower (or pyramid)
    • strongest tower
    • widest span (eg bridging between two tables)
    • tallest / strongest / widest with smallest number of straws or marshmallows
    • build a dome
    • most creative structure
  7. Eat any of the remaining building materials!

What’s happening?

Buildings are often supported by girders that interlock to provide rigidity and strength with a minimum amount of material. The basic unit of these truss structures is usually a triangle. You can see these triangle structures on steel span bridges (eg Sydney Harbour Bridge).

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