Maverick Makers Challenge #5-Mystery Architecture

On Thursdays in January, the MakerSpace will be open during  Mav Blocks for our fifth Maker Challenge of the school year! This month’s challenge is based on the Mystery Architecture Challenge from Science Olympiad. The great thing about these types of challenges is that they depend on the materials provided. Every Mystery Architecture challenge is completely different even if the goal is the same because the materials provided are different.

Passes are limited to 16 per session. Tuesdays will still be ‘open exploration’ days in the MakerSpace.

Challenge Description:

  • You will be given a container of materials to build a freestanding tower as high as you can in the time provided.
  • The tower should be constructed to hold a tennis ball at the top.


  • You will be working in teams of up to 4. There will be no individual workers.
  • Each team will receive the same materials.
  • Each team will have ONE MAV BLOCK to construct a tower to support the tennis ball at the highest point.
  • Only the materials in the container may be used to construct the tower.
  • The tower must hold the tennis ball.
  • The tower must remain standing long enough for the judge to measure its height.
  • The tower must be completely free standing. It can’t be attached to the tabletop, floor, ceiling, wall & can’t be held.


  • The height of the tower will be measured as precisely as possible.
  • The top of the tennis ball will be considered the highest point of the structure.
  • In the event of a tie, the winner with the smallest base measurement will win.


Questions to Consider:

  1. What base will best support the weight of a tennis ball?
  2. How can maximum height be achieved without sacrificing stability?
  3. How can the materials in the basket be best utilized?

Ideas to Get You Started:

Supplies Available for Your Use:

  • It’s a mystery! 😉 You’ll find out when you get here.

PS: More Planning = Less Waste.

Take advantage of the whiteboard tables & scrap paper to design your zip line first. RECYCLE when possible!

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