Stacking Up the Cup-etition

On Wednesday September 6, 2017, the Innovation Challenge took place in the Idea Accelerator, where students were given one hour to solve an impromptu challenge with a team. This month’s challenge required two teams of students to use three types of plastic cups and masking tape to build the tallest tower in thirty minutes. The only catch was that the people stacking and taping the cups together were blindfolded, whereas one person was directing the workers on how and where to tape and stack the cups.

There were two teams of three, so each team had two “worker bee’s” and one “queen bee.” Teams discussed their plans, which included the need for a base and amount of tape that would be used. Time began and teams immediately began tapping their cups together at an incredibly slow pace since the workers couldn’t see in front of them. One team played it safe with a base and the other team risked it all on the laws of gravity. At the conclusion of thirty minutes, both teams had towers nearly scrapping the ceiling, but only one team prevailed. The team that built a base was just three cups shy of the team without a base. You know what they say: you really do have to risk it to get the biscuit. Prizes were given out and both teams headed home after a cup-le of hours work. Participants in the ICE CaPS program would have found this event interesting since innovation and creativity were both required to win this challenge.