Can you build a tower out of noodles? This awesome spaghetti tower challenge is perfect for young and older kids! Build the tallest spaghetti tower that can hold the weight of one jumbo marshmallow. Test out those design and engineering skills with a few simple materials. Which tower design will be the tallest and strongest? We love easy and fun STEM activities for kids! 


Set Up STEM Challenges For Kids

So you might ask, what does STEM stand for? STEM is science, technology, engineering, and math. The most important thing you can take away from this is that STEM is for everyone!

Yes, kids of all ages can work on STEM challenges, and they are great for group work, too! Easily done in the classroom, with groups, or at home for a screen-free activity, simple STEM challenges encourage many skills, including problem-solving and creative thinking.

STEM is everywhere! Just look around. The simple fact that STEM surrounds us is why it’s so important for kids to be a part of, use, and understand STEM, from research on the internet to measurements around the house. Ordinary everyday activities use STEM.

From the buildings you see in town, the bridges that connect places, the computers we use, the software programs that go with them, and the air we breathe, STEM is what makes it all possible.

Interested in STEM plus ART? Check out all our STEAM Activities!

Free Spaghetti Tower Worksheet

Download and print this handy spaghetti tower sheet to add to a STEM journal. This is a fantastic way to expand the activity for middle school students.

Spaghetti Tower Challenge

While you’ve got the spaghetti out, you will want to try this strong spaghetti challenge!

Design Challenge

Build a tower of spaghetti noodles that will hold one marshmallow. Make the tallest tower possible from the materials supplied. The marshmallow must be able to sit on top without falling off.

Set A Time

If you’re short on time or have to work within a limited time frame. Set a timer! Results are determined by where the students get with the challenge at the end of the time.

Ideally, you want to allow 2 to 5 minutes of planning time, 15 to 20 minutes of build time, and several minutes for drawing conclusions. Of course, you can determine this based on your schedule or have no time constraint.

Hand Out The Supplies

  • 20 sticks of dry spaghetti
  • 1 yard or 3 feet of string
  • 1 yard or 3 feet of tape
  • 1 jumbo marshmallow


Present the kids with the challenge! Tell them these are the only materials they can use to complete the challenge.

STEP 1. Share design ideas, discuss structures and strengths, and even sketch ideas before you begin.

STEP 2. Build your design.

STEP 3. Measure towers, compare results, and discuss difficulties and successes! Use our handy questions for reflection printable to get the conversation started.

Note: Your kid’s prototypes and towers should and will look different from our results! Encourage creativity and problem-solving skills. The images provided are for reference.


Design ideas such as a strong base, pillars, and reinforced areas are key to building the strongest spaghetti tower! Check out famous towers (landmarks) around the world for shape ideas. Do a safe internet search and check out the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai. You might get some ideas!

Try it: Newspaper Eiffel Tower Engineering Challenge


STEM Resources To Get You Started

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

More Fun STEM Challenges To Try

Here are even more STEM activities that use very simple materials and allow your students or kids to complete fun challenges or projects in a limited amount of time.

Straw Boats Challenge – Design a boat made from straws and tape and see how many items it can hold before it sinks.

Paper Bridges – Similar to our strong spaghetti challenge. Design a paper bridge with folded paper. Which one will hold the most coins?

Paper Chain STEM Challenge – One of the simplest STEM challenges ever!

Strong Paper – Experiment with folding paper in different ways to test its strength and learn what shapes make the strongest structures.

Marshmallow Toothpick Tower – Build the tallest tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks.

Paper Clip Challenge – Grab a bunch of paper clips and make a chain. Are paper clips strong enough to hold weight?

Printable STEM Pack for Kids

80+ Doable Engineering Projects in one convenient pack!

  • Full instructions with sample images
  • Activity-specific instruction sheets
  • Data Collection Sheets
  • Questions for Reflection
  • Architecture Building Cards: Try the tallest tower challenge
  • Bridge Building Cards: Explore different types of bridges to build your own.
  • Paper Chain STEM Challenge: Who can make the longest chain? Great icebreaker or quick challenge!
  • 3 Little Pigs Architectural Pack: Design a house that won’t blow away!
  • Great marshmallow challenge: A classic challenge kids love!
  • Real-world STEM challenge lesson but don’t know where to start? Our easy-to-follow template shows the steps!
  • What’s the difference between a scientist and an engineer?
  • Crossword and word search with engineering vocabulary.
  • Engineering vocabulary cards
  • Design a one-of-a-kind invention and write about it with this 5-page activity!