Instant Challenge : Waiting for Weight


Your TASK is to create a container that will support as much weight as possible, hanging from its sides.


You will have 5 minutes to use your IMAGINATION to create your container, and up to 2 minutes to place weights on the sides for score.


One table has materials to build a container, and a second table has a taped 4-inch x 4-inch square with a wood post inside it on which your container must sit.


Part 1 (5 minutes): Create a container using the materials provided. The container must fit within the 4-inch x 4-inch square and be able to sit on the wood post.

Part 2 (up to 2 minutes): The team will place its structure on the wood post located within the taped square on the second table. The post may not be removed from the square. Using the weights provided, the team will place the weights on the sides of the structure, one at a time, until the structure breaks or falls off the post.


  • 1 roll of transparent tape
  • 2 envelopes
  • 2 paper cups
  • 2 sheets of newspaper
  • 3 rubber bands
  • 10 weights (provided during Part 2)

Scoring: You will receive

  • A. 5 points for every weight held by the container, up to 50 pts
  • B. Up to 25 points for the creativity of the structure
  • C. Up to 25 points for how well your team works together
Developed by Students for a Creative Iowa, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. To view a copy of this license, visit