The cup stack challenge is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the engineering design process and encourage students that they can all become engineers. Students learn valuable teamwork and communication skills needed to solve complex tasks and problems.
Teamwork and group projects help students develop both individual and collaborative efforts which opens the doors for students to; tackle more intricate problems or tasks, allot roles and responsibilities, collaborate and exchange different perspectives, combine knowledge and skills, peer-to-peer accountability, resolve personal differences, emulate successful peers, develop stronger communication skills, manage time, etc.
3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.