Step Three: Explain the Rules

Each team must understand the goal and the rules of the marshmallow challenge.

Person holding a tablet near white ceramic mug and notebook.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Rules Should Always Be Visible to Everybody

The participants tend to ignore the ones they don't like. So it's crucial to display the rules during the whole exercise and make sure everybody can see them. Use a projector or a whiteboard.

It would be best if you repeat the rules a few times. People get too excited or just chatting with their team members, so they don't pay too much attention for the first time. Before progressing to the challenge, ask the teams if they clearly understand the rules. You can even ask them to repeat it with you.

Make sure you're using a communication style that's suitable for the actual working culture of the participants.

The Goal

Build the tallest free-standing structure.

The team that builds the tallest structure measured from the table's surface to the top of the marshmallow wins the challenge.

The Rules

The Structure Must Stand on Its Own

The structure shouldn't hang or lean on any other objects. Of course, the participants can do whatever they want during the construction, but they must not hold the structure at the end.

The Whole Marshmallow Must Be on Top

Teams need to place whole marshmallows at the top of their structure. They must not break it into smaller pieces. Any team that intentionally destroys, hides or eats its marshmallow is disqualified. It happens sometimes. Or prepare a few extra marshmallows.

No Need to Use All the Ingredients

There's no restriction on how much materials the teams use.

They don't need to use all types of ingredients either. The group can use all or no spaghetti sticks at all. The same goes for the string and the tape.

However, teams can't use the paper bags for construction.

Break the Spaghetti, Cut the Tape And the String

Without limitations, teams can break their spaghetti and cut their string or tape into bits to make new structures.

The Duration of the Challenge

The challenge is 18 minutes long.

All teams must stop working on their structure at the 18-minute mark. Any team that attempts to support or hold their structure at the end of the challenge is disqualified.

Next: Step Four: Begin the Challenge