November’s Challenge: Marshmallow Architecture

Using only marshmallows and toothpicks, build a structure (or sculpture). It can be as simple, or complex as you choose, be creative, and have fun! 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the November STEMtastic Challenge! To see a gallery of submissions, you can visit

If you are interested in participating in the December STEMtastic Challenge, you can find the details at

For general information on the challenge format, click this link!


  1. You can only use toothpicks (or wooden skewers) and marshmallows
  2. Be creative, make a cool structure!
  3. You can look through books to learn about architecture before and during the challenge

We encourage learning about architecture principles, famous architects, and architectural works through the selection of books provided by the library. 

If you aren’t sure where to start… 

Activity suggestions based on age: 


Option 1: Marshmallow towers! See how tall you can build a tower using the materials.

Option 2: Freebuild a sculpture.


Option 1: Research and recreate a famous landmark 

Option 2: Design and build your dream home in a marshmallow structure


Option 1: Marshmallow bridge

  • Extra challenge: try to measure how much weight your bridge can hold

Option 2: Research and recreate a famous landmark

Three Principles of Good Architecture:

  • Firmatis (Durability) – Structure should stand up robustly and remain in good condition.
  • Utilitas (Utility) – Structure should be useful and function well for the people using it.
  • Venustatis (Beauty) – Structure should delight people and raise their spirits.

You may want to plan out your marshmallow builds before assembling! 

Library Resources

We are super excited to be working with the Lincoln Library! They have curated 3 book and website lists for students of different ages to learn more about architecture! Visit the library website to access these resources!

Guiding Questions/Suggestions:

  1. Draw a sketch of what you would like to build
  2. Think about what makes a strong structure (you can make a list of design elements to include)
  3. Consider how can you modify your structure to make it taller/stronger 
  4. How can you iterate on your design
  5. Brainstorm your idea with a friend! 
  6. What issue did you run into? Why? How can you modify your structure to fix it?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What issues did you run into?
  2. How did brainstorming your idea with a buddy help you overcome some of your challenges?
  3. What was your favorite part of the challenge?
  4. What challenges did you overcome? 
  5. What did you learn?
  6. What were your earlier versions/ how did your design evolve?
  7. How did you come up with the idea?

To submit:

  • Send a picture of your creation and answers to the optional questions if you filled them out to by November 25 your creations will be featured on the Library and GearTicks websites!
  • Feel free to include any planning you did as well as your favorite part of the challenge!
  • Your submissions can be a google document, PDF, image, or just an email
  • If you want to upload work on paper, try downloading a PDF scanner like genius scan and sending via email

If you have any questions feel free to email!