I found a new blog, Think! which posts weekly contraption building challenges. This week's was to:
Put the following items on the table:
3 drinking straws
3 large marshmallows (if you don't have any use 3 bandaids)
3 round plastic tops (size doesn't really matter -- we used the tops to bottled water)
18 lifesavers (or cherrios or fruit loops)
Tell students to raise the apple off the ground as high as possible for as long as possible. This time, they may use scissors during "construction" but may not use them to elevate the apple. Remember, the focus is the thinking part so if you don't have the exact materials, don't worry about it, just go with what you have. It is supposed to be fun and require no planning!
Mary's first design went for stability rather than height. We didn't time it because it looked like the apple would stay there forever, or at least until the marshmallows compressed enough.
Her second design held the apple about 2 inches off the table for 1:34.
Audrey enjoyed making contraptions with marshmallows and toothpicks, too. This one is a pufferfish. It's the only one of hers that doesn't have bites taken out of it.