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Stack 'em

Stack 'em

Your challenge is to use the items to stack your cups on top of the table.

This is a two-part challenge.


This is a two-part challenge.

In Part I, you will have 2 minutes to discuss the problem, create a solution, and practice.

In Part II, you will have 5 minutes to test your solution for score.

You will be warned when 1 minute remains in each part. You may ask questions and talk to each other at any time.

There are cups on the table and a series of items behind the taped line the team can use use these items to solve the challenge.


(see set-up)


Set up the competition site by taping a 6-foot long line on the floor that is 3 feet away from one side of the table running parallel to it.

Place 25 unmarked cups of the same type on the table, and a set of the following items behind the taped line:

2 paper plates

2 unsharpened pencils

4 rubber bands

6 adhesive mailing labels

3 pieces of string, 12"

2 sheets copy paper

10 paper clips

2 cubes of clay, 1”

In a separate pile, place the following items:

1 plastic ladle or large spoon

1 baseball cap

1 yardstick

1 broom

The teams can use these in their solution but they may not be altered or damaged in any way.


Your problem is to use the items to stack your cups on top of the table.

You may practice as you wish in Part I. When Part I ends, you must move all of the cups behind the line on the floor. You may leave materials where you have placed them or you may take some or all of them behind the line.

In Part II, you must stand behind the line when stacking the cups for score. You cannot change the line.

  1. You must move the cups one at a time.

  2. You are allowed to cross the line to retrieve items and cups.

  3. When you are across the line, you must retrieve anything you touch.

  4. You will be finished when time ends or when you tell the judge you would like to be scored. After that, you cannot touch any cups or items.

For Judges Only:

When Part I ends, let the team move cups and items behind the line before you start the timer for Part II.

In Part II, make sure any team member involved in moving a cup for score is standing entirely behind the taped line; however, they can break the plane of the line.


You will be scored as follows:

Every cup that rests on the table will receive 1 point.

The three tallest stacks will receive 1 point for each inch it is tall.

You will receive 1 to 10 points for the creativity of your solution.

You will receive 1 to 10 points for how well your team works together.


Were team member tasks and responsibilities sorted out clearly?

Did the team use the materials effectively?

Was time used effectively?

What would the team do differently if they did it again?

Was there more than one way to stack cups?

Was it better to focus on one big stack or all 3 stacks (# of cups needed for set amount of height)?

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