Will It Stick? – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Will It Stick?

Build a structure on a wooden board that is as tall as possible. The structure needs to stick to the board when the board is turned upside down. This activity is designed to be a quick-thinking activity that helps increase cognitive flexibility.

Materials Required

  • 2 sheets of paper
  • 1 paper cup
  • 5 straws
  • 8 twist ties
  • 6 mailing labels
  • 1 wooden board
  • 5 paper clips
  • 3 24-inch long pieces of string
  • 10 rubber bands
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Timer


  1. Set a timer for five minutes. Use the materials to build a structure that is as tall as possible and that will stick to the board when the board is turned upside down. You must build the structure on the wooden board. Note: The mailing labels may not be attached to the board. The measuring tape and ruler may not be part of your structure.
  2. After five minutes, turn the wooden board with the structure upside down to see if the structure sticks to the board. Note: Only touch the board when turning the board upside down.
  3. Make a list of improvements to make to the structure. Start over again. Did the improvements result in a taller structure, or ensure the structure stayed attached to the wooden board when turned upside down?

Additional Tips

Do this activity in a group setting. Pick a judge to score the structure using the following points:

  • 2 points (40 points maximum) for each inch of height on the structure
  • 20 points if nothing falls off the structure after the board has been turned upside down for 10 seconds
  • Up to 20 points for how creatively materials were used
  • Up to 20 points for how well the team works together

Links to Creativity

Not very often do we see a room from a bird’s eye view, let alone build something to stick upside down on a ceiling. New perspectives contribute to alternative, and more likely creative solutions. Also important to note is that active involvement in diverse and unfamiliar contexts increase cognitive flexibility, leading to more unlikely interpretations, and increasing original explanations and solutions.

Supporting research includes:

Ritter, S. M., Iona Damian, R., Simonton, D. K., van Baaren, R. B., Strick, M., Derks, J., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2012). Diversifying experiences enhance cognitive flexibility. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 48, 961-964.


This activity was contributed by Destination Imagination, Inc. For more information and resources see DestinationImagination.org.  ©Destination Imagination, Inc.

Will It Stick?

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