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The marshmallow challenge is an ideal introduction to several key aspects of innovation – idea generation, collaboration, creativity and teamwork. It‘s a simple experiential activity where teams of students are given a challenge to build the tallest freestanding structure that will support the weight of one marshmallow. They have 18 minutes to complete the challenge and are given a set number of building materials.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • discuss their experience of working in a team for this challenge
  • identify some of the key challenges and benefits of working in a team
  • identify some of the key steps required to successfully complete this activity
  • identify some of the key behaviours required to successfully complete this activity
  • discuss what they might do differently next time
  • relate their experience to key information in the About innovation video clip.

Download the Word file for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • extension idea
  • student handout.

Useful links

View thought leader and award-winning innovator Tom Wujec’s TED talk on the benefits of the marshmallow challenge.

Visit the Marshmallow Challenge website.

    Published 29 November 2013 Referencing Hub articles