Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Willow School Marshmallow Challenge 2017 with interviews to students

Hi all!

On Monday 13th of November, TRUSS visited Willow School once again for the Marshmallow challenge with JJ, Shahnur, Siyuan and I, with the help of Aoife, PJ and John. For this challenge, only the following building materials were allowed:
  1. Sticks of spaghetti
  2. Masking tape
  3. String
  4. A marshmallow

The goal for the little builders was to do the tallest structure that can stand the marshmallow on the top. Team members cannot hold onto the structure when the judges are measuring, or they will be disqualified.

Fig 1. Students waiting for instructions.

Some teams tried to reach the tallest height very quickly without using any base. Unfortunately, none of them finally worked. Other teams tried to do a wide base, obtaining at the end the better results. Imaginative solutions were required to deal with unexpected problems arising during the construction.

Fig 2. Nooooooooooo!!!!

Finally, there were two winner teams: numbers 3 and 16 (out of 26 teams), both of them with 65 cm tall structures. Their design was very interesting and they can be compared to some other familiar structures in the real world.

          Image result for eiffel tower
Figure 3. Winner structure of team number 3 compared to Eiffel Tower. Congratulations!

       Image result for building upside down
Figure 4. Winner structure of team number 16 after some damage compared to Astra Haus in Hamburg. Innovative design, good job!

After the competition, I was able to talk with the winner team number 3. They said that it was hard and that with extra time they would have been able to even get a higher building. For them, the main problems were how to stick the spaghetti one to another and how to stand the extra load the marshmallow places on the structure. Despite all these inconveniences, we can see in Figure 3 that the final outcome was impressive!

I also managed to talk with team number 10. Their structure was coming out nicely, but unfortunately, they hit it accidentally and everything fell. They wanted to do a house-shaped structure with trusses on the walls but they didn't manage. Better luck for the next time!

After the competition, we cleaned the room and TRUSS-branded lollipops were given to all participants.

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