Questions and Answers

Q. What is considered a 'prop'?

A. This question comes up frequently, and it is really up to the discretion of the judges.  The rule of thumb for this is that if you can build it with cans, do!  Judges are instructed to consider an item a prop if it adds materially to the design of the structure and is not made out of canned food.  Remember- our overall goal is to raise as much food for the MidSouth Food Bank as we can, so all-can structures are highly recommended.  You may use a poster board to display your structure title - but be sure there is no information about your team (school, member names, etc.) on the poster.  This will be removed prior to judging if it has team details on it.

Q. I read they are allowed to have a foam core. Is that common practice or is it discouraged over having a can core?  

A. Can core is preferred, as the overall goal of this event is to raise as much food as possible for the Food Bank.  Judges will also score this negatively if they determine that the foam is used for structural support.  All structures should be self-supporting with cans only.  Other materials should only be used for leveling.


Q. Wire is listed as a permissible material - can rebar tying wire be used?

A. In terms of the wire, the primary thing to consider with any of the permissible materials is whether or not the use of the materials constitutes structural support.  While a material may be allowed within the guidelines of the competition, of it is used in such a way that it provides structural support, then the judges have the option to score this lower on this portion of the scoring rubric.

Q. Where will the competition be held this year?

A. The 2021 competition will be VIRTUAL!  See official rules for all details.


Q. Is there a specific theme for this year’s Canstruction structures? 

A. Yes!  Resilient Memphis is the 2021 theme.

Q. Our school consists of various grade levels of home-schooled students, most being juniors and seniors graduating soon. Concerned about the longevity of their school’s participation, they are wondering if an 8th grader can participate and be part of the team?

A. Definitely! We encourage this!


Q. Are there specific design programs other schools use to create their Canstruction structure layout? Is using a design program a requirement?

A. This year, teams are required to use TinkerCad to develop their design drawings and submission for the competition.  TinkerCad is available for free via the TinkerCad website: