What is the marshmallow challenge?

The marshmallow challenge is a simple design exercise for teams.

Each team needs to build a free-standing structure from spaghetti, some string and masking tape, with a marshmallow on the top. The tallest building wins the challenge.

The challenge teaches essential lessons about product development and dealing with unknowns.

What is the point of the marshmallow challenge?

The exercise highlights the importance of prototyping and iterative design.

The marshmallow is much heavier than most people think.

Teams who blindly plan their structure, assuming that the marshmallow doesn't require extra attention because it's so light, usually see their structure collapse when they finally build the tower.

How do you make the marshmallow challenge?

Each team has 18 minutes to build the tallest free-standing structure with the marshmallow on the top.

They can use the following ingredients:

  • 20 sticks of spaghetti
  • one yard of string
  • one yard of masking tape
  • a whole marshmallow