Flash Build/Construction Grades 4-8

Governed By Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Contact Info: Amy.Curry@memphis.edu

Schools may have up to two teams entering the competition.

Student teams will design, construct, and build an appropriate structure during the competition. Materials will be provided on site and will consist of 6-4x6 index cards and a roll of tape.

The goal of the competition is to build the strongest foundation possible with index cards to support a tower of textbooks.


  • The index cards must hold the textbooks off the surface. (laying them flat beneath the textbooks does not count)
  • Textbooks will be placed one by one on the index card foundation
  • The index card foundation must support each textbook for a total of 10 seconds before another can be added on top. The maximum tower load must be held for 10 seconds
  • Tower score will be calculated using the formula S=height x (#of books held)2
  • Students must record the length of the tape
  • Students can use up to 2 ft in tape
  • Students that use only 1 foot of tape get to count 1 extra textbook in their final tower
  • Students that use less than 6 inches of tape get to count 2 extra textbooks in their final tower
  • Height is measured from the surface below the cards to the top of the highest textbook.