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Leaning Tower of Noodles: Introducing Collaboration & Creativity

Use this fun and competitive team-building lab during the beginning of the school year to introduce collaboration and creativity to your students.

Collaboration is a key component of scientific research. Scientists will knowingly, and sometimes unknowingly, find information that builds the backbone for other scientific discoveries around the world. This happened with DNA. Rosalind Franklin gathered high resolution images of the molecule that James Watson and Francis Crick used to discover DNA’s double-helix structure. Without Franklin’s images, Watson and Crick would not have been able to make such a discovery.

Another key component of scientific research is creativity. Scientists are artists in their own way. They must find a problem and devise unique ways to solve that problem. Take Sir Isaac Newton for example. He watched an apple fall from a tree, and devised an entire theory of gravity from it. Newton wanted to see more than an object falling. He wanted to create an explanation for how and why it fell.

In this basic engineering lab, you will collaborate with your peers to construct the tallest, stand-alone marshmallow tower out of noodles and tape. Unfortunately, you only have a set amount of noodles and tape, and thus must think creatively on how to use them most efficiently. This process will require a significant amount of trial-and-error amongst you and your peers. Do not forget to include everyone’s ideas and participation, as you never know whose idea will make your group most successful!

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