Tower of Power

Celebrate National Engineers Week with Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering

Tower of Power 2021 will take place virtually! Click on our 2021 Tower of Power Flyer for additional information.

A Tower of Power in a Half Hour

A Middle School National Engineering Week Challenge

Join Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering in celebrating National Engineers Week (February 21-27, 2021) by building a tower from spaghetti and marshmallows. The top five middle school teams that build the tallest freestanding tower win and will be invited to recreate their winning towers at the virtual JHU Tower of Power event in February 2021!

Email us at [email protected] if your school intends to participate in the virtual Tower of Power 2021 competition. Only one entry per middle school!

Intent to Participate Deadline: 11:59PM on January 15, 2021

Deadline for School Submissions: 11:59PM on February 12, 2021


  • Towers are to be built by at least one middle school student (3 team members max) using only:
    • one (1) 1 pound box of spaghetti
    • 2 bags of large marshmallows (30 per bag).
  • The construction time limit is a half hour.
  • Towers must be freestanding.
  • Multiple teams may compete within each school, but each middle school may submit only one winning entry to JHU.  An entry consists of two items:
    • A digital photograph of the team and its tower
      • Photo must show very top & base of the tower
      • Photo must include a measuring stick next to tower to verify height (in cm or inches)
    • A parent, guardian, or teacher-verified height (in cm or inches)


  • Each middle school entry will receive a certificate signed by the Assistant Dean for Engineering Educational Outreach.
  • The top five winning teams will be invited to JHU’s  virtual Tower of Power competition to build a tower and compete w/ undergraduate students, alumni, and faculty teams (optional) and will be recognized on the JHU Center for Educational Outreach website

Hints:  Triangles are rigid.  Structures using triangles tend to be strong.  Note all the triangular trusses in the picture.  Long lengths of spaghetti will bend.  It’s probably better to have several short sections rather than one long section.

Participate in next year’s event by joining our mailing list.

2020 Results: Click here to see the results of the 2020 Middle School Competition! 

Tower of Power 2020 Photo Gallery

Experiment! Design! Build!

2019 Photo Gallery

2018 Photo Gallery

Hub article: Engineers Week 2018 Homewood Campus Competition

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