PROBLEM SOLVE YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS!
Can you transform 20 sticks of spaghetti and 20 marshmallows into a bridge in only 20 minutes? Watch as your children learn to think like designers; plan, test, build, strategize and collaborate in this fantastic problem-solving team exercise. Cheer them on as they work their way through their challenges to success!
HOW TO CREATE YOUR BRIDGE
First gather your equipment together. You will need 20 sticks of dried spaghetti, a packet of large marshmallows, a timer, a pretend fence and an egg. You will also need a clear space on a table to set up the challenge.
Give your children a clear set of instructions and rules:
1: They may only use 20 sticks of spaghetti
2. They may break their sticks of spaghetti however and whenever they wish
3. They may only use 20 pieces of marshmallow
4. They may tear their marshmallows into smaller pieces if they wish
5. They must complete their bridge within 20 minutes
6. They must work as a team
7. Their bridge must be able to take the weight of a raw egg when they have finished in order for their bridge to be deemed a success
8. Their bridge must cross from one side of the pretend fence to the other without touching or resting on the fence
Encourage your children to discuss their plans first and work out with a common strategy but try to let them come up with their own ideas. Start the timer and let your children begin.
Let your children know when they have had 10 minutes. This will encourage them to keep track of their time. It is also a good time to step in if they need any adult support or guidance. Remind them of their task and ask them questions that might help them think about other ways of doing things or problems they might not have foreseen. Then step back again and let them continue.
When their 20 minutes is up and the timer alarm has gone off, test out your children’s design to see if it would hold the weight of one raw egg. This will help them discover if their bridge was strong enough and thoughtfully designed.
Make sure to give your children lots of praise when they have finished no matter how successful they were. Remember that only through making mistakes do we learn how to succeed! Ask them what they learnt through the experience both working as a team and in terms of construction design. What would they do differently next time?
TA DA! Have fun trying out the experiment at home.
Don’t worry if you do not have a sibling to work with on this challenge, it is just as much fun solo. If you want to repeat the challenge after you have finished and this time make it extra difficult, then you can shorten the time limit to only 10 minutes! Good luck!