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News Releases : OPPD’s Marshmallow Challenge puts students’ engineering skills to test

Omaha Public Power District is challenging teams of fifth-grade students to build the tallest free-standing tower they can, using only uncooked spaghetti, masking tape and string. And the tower must be topped off by a marshmallow.

The “Marshmallow Challenge” uses math, science and engineering principles. So, it’s only appropriate that OPPD’s Society of Engineers sponsors the contest to coincide with National Engineers Week, Feb. 20-26. The goal is to promote problem-solving, teamwork and innovation. The challenge is part of OPPD’s ongoing commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

The contest is open to all fifth-grade classrooms in OPPD’s 13-county service territory. For official rules and to enter, visit Omaha Public Power District’s Marshmallow Challenge page. Entries are being accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 9.

OPPD’s Marshmallow Challenge is in its ninth year after a break last year due to the pandemic. This year, the contest will be held at the discretion of individual teachers, classrooms and school districts, and in accordance with appropriate and applicable health and safety protocols.

OPPD will announce three winners, with the three tallest structures, Friday, March 11. They will receive some OPPD swag. If desired, OPPD will provide a speaker to talk with the winning classrooms about engineering professions.

There will also be special recognition for the team that shows the most creative use of their materials, even if their structure is not among the tallest.

Educators interested in joining our Marshmallow Challenge email list should let us know at marshmallowchallenge@oppd.com