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The Long and Tall of it

The Long and Tall of it



You will have 8 minutes to solve the problem. You will be warned when 2 minutes and when 1 minute remains. You are allowed to ask the judge questions and talk to each other at any time.


For Team: 1 piece of paper, 1 piece of aluminum foil, 6 straws, 1 cup, 30 toothpicks, 1 pencil, 1 paper bowl, 1 cube of clay, 2 paper clips, 1 piece of string 3”, 3 cotton swabs, 1 plastic fork.

For Judge: A table, 2 rectangular blocks of the same size, Tape measure


Place two blocks on the table.

  1. The first group will build a bridge as long as possible that rests on the two blocks.

  2. The second group will build a structure as tall as possible that rests on the bridge

  3. Once you are in a building group, you cannot switch.

  4. When being measured for score, no team member can touch either structure.

  5. The bridge can only touch the two blocks.

  6. The tower must rest only on the bridge - it isn’t allowed to touch the blocks.

  7. The teams will indicate when ready for scoring.

  8. Competition is over when the team asks to be scored or when time ends.


1 point for each inch of your tall structure’s height.

1 point for each inch of your bridge’s length.

1 to 10 points for the creativity of your solution.

1 to 15 points for how well you work together.


Would it have been better to focus on height or length?

Build together, or apart and then assemble?

Did the team use materials effectively?

What would you do differently if you did it again?

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