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The Catapult Conundrum

Teamwork is the name of the game in this collaborative construction task.

A combination of brainpower, budgeting and negotiation skills will be needed to acquire the pieces to build a catapult, which has both firepower and accuracy. The task requires planning, clear communication, and leadership. Finally, collaboration determines success.

Key Points

  • Combines construction with mental agility
  • Powerfully illustrates that even in competition we should be willing to collaborate
  • A metaphor for selecting the right targets
  • Can be run indoors or outside
  • Highlights the importance of shared goal

Activities

Catapult Conundrum is so much more than a team construction exercise, it can illustrate complex concepts such as Game Theory.

  • Problem solving both mental and practical
  • Resourceful use of talents and budget
  • Hands on construction of a real catapult
  • Testing and refining
  • Balancing risk and reward
  • Group discussion and agreement to establish the team’s firing strategy

Sample Format

This event can be run as part of a full-day programme, as a stand alone event, or incorporated into your away-day or conference. To give you an idea of how it runs please see our timings below:

14.00 – Briefing
Event manager briefs teams and hands out conundrums along with a bag of gold coins to each team.

14.15 – Solving Clues and Making Decisions
Teams attempt conundrums and decide how to use their budget.

14.30 – Collate Components
Catapult components are acquired with gold coins or correct conundrum solutions.

14.45 – Building Starts
Teams begin to build their catapults

15.15 – Testing!
Test firing takes place (in accordance with safety procedures).

15.30 – Prepare to Fire
Teams are arranged around the target area, with higher scoring targets furthest away.

15.40 – Fire!
All teams fire simultaneously, where two or more teams hit the same target neither scores. Teams repeatedly fire simultaneously with scores awarded after each round.

16.00 – Calculate Scores
Final scores are calculated while teams review their performance.

16.15 – Winners celebrate!