Assembly Idea: Can you get a straw through a potato? What does that tell you?


The ‘Straw through Potato’ assembly is one that is often referred to as part of the KEGS banter.  It is up there with ‘Lessons from Geese’ and ‘When I Taught The Verve’ as most-remembered (aka most-mocked) assemblies. But I like this one.

I first encountered the idea as part of an INSET day at a previous school.  In groups, we were all given a straw and a potato with the question “Is it possible to get the straw through the potato?” We proceeded to debate and discuss it; at first we were not allowed to handle the items.  Then, after our initial deliberations, we tried out various drilling methods…all to no avail. In my group we concluded that it could not be done.  Then the instructor told us how he’d given the same task to some Y10 students with the instruction ‘Get that straw through the potato’. One boy picked…

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