People often say "Bigger is better." Here is an example. I first blogged about Autodesk Fellow, Tom Wujec's, marshmallow challenge in October of 2010.
So I was thrilled when I read another letter that Tom shared with us the other day.
I've been meaning to send something to you for a while, and I'm just getting around to it. Three years ago I happened upon the TED Talk about the Marshmallow Challenge. At the time here at Carnegie Mellon University, those of us that teach Design & Production in the Drama School were developing new curriculum built specifically around collaboration, and it seemed like a great fit.
We have the students do a run through the exercise, then we watch the TED talk and then they do it again. After that we take a break - and then we add a wrinkle.
Since we actually build things here, and most of what we do is an order of magnitude larger, we decided to add an upscale version of the exercise. In our third iteration we go outside and each group of four gets 20 1/2"x1/2"x6-0" sticks of Medium-Density-Fibreboard (MDF), a roll of string, and a roll of tape. They get 18 minutes to build the tallest freestanding structure they can with a full bag of marshmallows at the tallest point.
We picked MDF because we thought it would behave most like pasta. The 72" length came from a calibrating exercise where we measured the deflection in a piece of spaghetti caused by one marshmallow and then matched the deflection proportionately with the full bag and the MDF...
The large scale has all the challenges of the small scale but adds in some construction practicality (the height of the participant being the main factor).
This is the third year we've done it. The tallest this time around was 12'-6".
Thanks for the inspiration.
Production Technology & Management Option Coordinator Associate Professor of Drama - Technical Director Carnegie Mellon University - Purnell Center for the Arts
Thanks Tom. Thanks David.
Enlargement is alive in the lab.