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News Releases : OPPD’s 10th annual Marshmallow Challenge tests students’ innovation during National Engineers Week
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National Engineers Week kicks off Sunday, February 19. The week is designed to raise awareness of the profession and encourage young people to consider careers as engineers.

Omaha Public Power District’s Society of Engineers is celebrating by asking fifth grade students to take part in the utility’s 10th annual Marshmallow Challenge. The contest, open to teams of fifth-graders throughout our 13-county service territory, is a simple yet profound exercise that encourages students to work together to innovate and problem-solve.

The objective is to build the tallest free-standing structure they can within 20 minutes with using only the following materials:

  • 20 sticks of dry spaghetti
  • One yard of masking tape
  • One yard of string
  • One standard-sized marshmallow to top it off

The Marshmallow Challenge is part of OPPD’s ongoing commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. To participate, students must submit a group photo with their structure, along with its height, to the Marshmallow Challenge link on OPPD’s Facebook page, starting Monday. Entries are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 8. Winners will be announced Friday, March 10.

The three teams with the tallest structures will win goodie bags for their entire classroom, and an OPPD employee will visit the class to talk about careers in engineering.

The OPPD Society of Engineers will also be selecting the tower that best represents ingenuity and creative use of the materials, even if it isn’t one of the tallest. This team will also win goodie bags for their classroom.

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