This product is used as a quick and easy team building activity at the beginning of the school year. It also helps to introduce steps in the scientific method.
The activity uses minimal materials and doesn't take much time. Students are given 5 minutes to build the tallest free-standing tower using only toothpicks and marshmallows. At the end of the 10 minutes, the teacher can go around and measure the height of the towers. Students are not allowed to hold their tower up. I make them sit on their hands, which they think is funny.
After measuring the towers and deciding upon winners of the challenge, student groups work together to evaluate the activity and answer the conclusion questions. Then, the class discusses the answers. This gives the teacher an opportunity to go over the rules for collaborative work in their classroom.
The entire activity takes about 15 minutes.