Command task 14: Tower challenge

Equipment: Activity kit such as an MTa learning kit

Time: 15 minutes

Where: Indoors or a flat surface outdoors

Aim: Construct the highest possible free-standing tower

Benefits: Logic and engineering skills

Instructions: It doesn’t matter too much what equipment the cadets have, as long as each team has the same. The challenge is to build something self-supporting that doesn’t collapse under its own weight. The best teams work out that triangles are generally a strong shape to build into the base. If using MTa kits, cadets will also benefit from correctly using the locking plates to stop pieces sliding out of place.

Make it easier: Provide longer pieces and more of them

Make it harder: Limit the number of joining pieces (nuts, bolts and locking plates) available