Master the secret of building a REALLY tall spaghetti and marshmallow tower.
A surprisingly useful life skill, considering the current popularity of spaghetti and marshmallow towers at school science days and work team building events.
And while it’s not rocket science, it’s trickier than you think… so read the tips below to ensure your tower stands tall and proud…
What will I learn?
1) Sometimes the best way to learn about science is not through maths and formulas but by playing with materials*.
2) Simple techniques and rules when repeated at scale can create very impressive and complex structures.
3) Making projects with edible materials (especially those of the sweet variety) are particularly popular with kids!
*But don’t tell your maths teacher that!
Step by step guide
If you do want to build a TALL tower it does require some planning, hopefully the following guide will point you in the right direction. Good luck!
LEARN how to transform the stuff around you into fun and useful things:
OK, lets get snapping and sticking…
For the bottom two layers of the tower, double up the strands of spaghetti in the vertical connectors, it reduces slippage and adds support.
Start by building pyramids with four marshmallows at the base and one at the top (1). Use 1/2 length strands of spaghetti to connect the base and full length strands to connect the base to the marshmallow at the top.
And remember, always push the spaghetti deep into the marshmallow, it provides more grip (2).
Next, take two completed pyramids and join them together with a ‘bottomless’ pyramid (3). Then connect the bases with two strands of spaghetti (4).
Continue joining pyramids until you have three rows, each consisting of four pyramids (5). Connect the tops of the pyramids with horizontal lengths of spaghetti to complete the first layer (6).
Build a second layer of pyramids on top of the first layer, this one will consist of two rows of three pyramids (7).
Note: For layer 3 we have to change tack, because if it were another row of pyramids it would consist of only two pyramids!
Start by connecting the six marshmallows at the top of layer 2 to four marshmallows in square formation (8). If necessary add diagonal cross braces to provide extra rigidty.
Add two ‘flying buttresses’, each made from a single marshmallow supported by spaghetti, this will help support the spire - follow the illustration above (9).
To make the spire connect three cubes, with a base the same size as the four marshmallows in layer 3. Add DIAGONAL cross braces to each side, and across OPPOSITE sides (12), otherwise the cubes will collapse.
Add more flying buttresses (13), the mirror opposite to the ones you added to layer 3. To complete the spire add a ‘bottomless pyramid’ onto the top cube, to give the spire a nice point (14)!
Don’t try burning or cooking the marshmallows in order to ‘strengthen’ them - it doesn’t work. Also, if you are likely to move your tower, build it on a tray or piece of wood first!
Spaghetti and marshmallow tower challenges often require an egg to be supported by the structure. The best way to do that is by creating a ‘nest’ from short strands of spaghetti pushed into the top marshmallow (15).
- 2 packets of Spaghetti
- 2 large packets of marshmallows
- Lots of patience!
Give it your own unique twist
Building a spaghetti and marshmallow tower doesn’t have to be the preserve of school science projects, it also makes a great kids’ activity for rainy days and summer holidays!