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Hexagon Marshmallow STEM Building Challenge

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Edible science is so fun for any age! So once your kids get their hands into this hexagon marshmallow STEM building challenge, they’ll probably need some extra marshmallows to finish their creations — and replace the snacks.

Architecture and engineering are amazing opportunities to explore for both art and science. Finding the perfect shapes for stability, strength and durability will challenge your kids to develop problem solving and creative thinking skills. So lets get to the building!

A simple hexagon marshmallow STEM building challenge, with two levels.

To get started with this science challenge, you’ll want to give your family some room. So make sure you have some kind of flat table surface, and maybe a table cloth to help contain all the bits and pieces.

Also, here are two new vocabulary words for you: faces, vertices and edges. Faces are the “sides” of your shape. Vertices are the “corners” of your shapes, and edges are the outlining lines of the shape, that connect the corners. With 2D shapes, you have corners and lines, but no “face”. And with 3D shapes, like in this science challenge, you get vertices and edges, and faces, which are the flat surface areas between the edges and corners.

Recommended Science Experiment Books

The cool thing about simple science experiments like this hexagon marshmallow STEM building challenge is that they make you want more. More science, more science experiments and more fun! So check out some of our favorite science experiment books to help you keep the learning fun going.

 Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids: 50+ Exciting STEAM Projects to Design and Build (Awesome STEAM Activities for Kids)Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids: 50+ Exciting STEAM Projects to Design and Build (Awesome STEAM Activities for Kids) Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: EDIBLE EDITION: 52 Mouth-Watering Recipes and the Everyday Science That Makes Them Taste AmazingKitchen Science Lab for Kids: EDIBLE EDITION: 52 Mouth-Watering Recipes and the Everyday Science That Makes Them Taste Amazing The Curious Kid’s Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8The Curious Kid's Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8 Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from Around the HouseKitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from Around the House

 

Supplies

The supplies list for this experiment is super simple. Just two things:

  • marshmallows (the little ones, not the big ones) — try the rainbow colored marshmallows for more variety!
  • toothpicks — you could also use thin dowels or uncooked spaghetti strands

 Kraft Jet Puffed Mini Marshmallows, 10 Ounce Bag (Pack of 2)Kraft Jet Puffed Mini Marshmallows, 10 Ounce Bag (Pack of 2) Royal R820 Plain Round Toothpicks, Pack of 800Royal R820 Plain Round Toothpicks, Pack of 800

 

Directions

Remember those new vocabulary words? In these directions, marshmallows will form the vertices of your building, and toothpicks will be the edges.

So let’s get started.

  1. Create a hexagon shape with the toothpicks and marshmallows. Hexagons have six edges and six vertices.
  2. Now place toothpicks in each marshmallow, pointing towards the middle of your hexagon.
  3. Then attach a marshmallow in the centre, to create a new vertex in the middle. Use the picture to guide you.
the first hexagon from this STEM building challenge

4. Keep adding toothpicks and marshmallows until you get a second level.

the second layer of the hexagon STEM building challenge

Notice how the second hexagon is formed floating above the first?

5. Discuss with your kids as they’re building. How many vertices are in their shape? How many edges? And how many faces? What other shapes do they see forming in their architecture?

As your sculptures get bigger, you’ll notice that the hexagons are subdivided into triangles. That’s because the triangle is one of the most stable and strong shapes out there. Your building can continue because the triangle shape forms a self-balancing weight holder.

How big can you get your marshmallow building to go?

Don’t forget to take pictures of your kids’ science-based art!

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Need more simple-but-awesome science experiments? Here are a few of our favorites!

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