Marshmallow House Empowerment Activity

Marshmallow Structures

Marshmallow Structures

Topic: Engineering Careers

Empowerment Lesson Video: Engineering Careers


  • Toothpicks
  • Small marshmallows
  • Wax paper
  • Paper or plastic cups to divide the marshmallows

Video Discussion:

Tell the students they will be watching the video Engineering Careers. Explain that the video presents role models talking about why engineering is a career choice that girls should consider.

After viewing the video, invite students to share specific things they learned about the different engineering careers presented in the video and to reflect upon their observations e.g., ‘I liked when the Executive Engineer from General Motors said that the crash dummy test site let her know that engineers do important work keeping people safe.’.

After watching the video '60 Seconds With Architect June Grant', ask your students to think about a building or house that they’ve seen and why it’s memorable.

Activity Instructions:

In this activity, you are the client and the students are the architects. You will have them design a structure (house, mansion, office building, etc.) using only marshmallows and toothpicks.

  • June talks about designing for different clients and having to meet their needs but still being creative. In this case, I am your client and want you to build me a house out of marshmallow and toothpicks. You get to decide how it looks.
  • The great part about being an architect is being able to see your project on the street and knowing that it will be there for a long time. Think about what design you would be proud to see and what you would want to leave behind in your community.
  • June’s advice is to start playing and designing with 3-dimensional spaces, which is what we will be doing today.

Students may work individually or as a team. If working as a team you can make the activity more challenging by having them build a mansion or an office building, etc. Show the image above for inspiration.