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Free Team Building Activity: Spaghetti Tower

January 28, 2011

This team building task gets teams thinking creatively, communicating and planning.

Spaghetti Tower Team Building Task

Planning is important to the success of this team building task

Small teams are asked to build the tallest, most cost-effective, free-standing tower using a packet of dried spaghetti and a packet of jelly babies within the set time limit.  To download the Spaghetti Tower instructions as a PDF click here.

Key themes: Teamwork,  Creative, thinking.
Participants: 6 – 50
Timing: 15 – 30 minutes

Prework and Equipment
– 100g of spaghetti, 1 balloon and 20 jelly babies per team.
– 1 Tape measure.
– Sufficient table space is needed

Running the Activity
1. Split the group into small teams (of 3 – 4)
2. Introduce the exercise by stating that the challenge is to build the tallest, most cost effective freestanding tower that will support an inflated balloon
3. Explain the 10 minute time constraint
4. Explain the costs involved for the materials (see sheet 3 in the PDF linked to above)
5. Assign each group their spaghetti, jelly beans and balloon. Also provide each team a briefing sheet (see sheet 3 in the PDF linked to above)
6. Reinforce the rules that the tower must be unsupported and freestanding after 10 minutes with an inflated balloon attached to the top
7. Start the activity and the timer.  Give the teams a time check after five minutes and a one and two-minute warning.
8. After 10 minutes, call time or give an extension at your discretion.
9. Ask the teams to work out and calculate their points (as below). The team with the highest number of points is the winning team. Do not show the team the scoring procedure before the activity takes place.

Scoring, points will be awarded as follows:

Height of Tower
Tallest tower – 15 points
2nd  tallest – 13 points
3rd  tallest – 10 points
4th tallest – 8 points
5th  tallest – 6 points
6th tallest – 4 points
7th tallest – 2 points
8th tallest – 1 point

Cost Efficiency
Cheapest tower – 15 points
2nd least expensive – 13 points
3rd least expensive – 10 points
4th least expensive – 8 points
5th least expensive – 6 points
6th least expensive – 4 points
7th least expensive – 2 points
8th least expensive – 1 point

10. Give a prize if necessary.

Review and Conclusions
– Ask how it felt to be asked to carry out the task blind?
– Ask who were the leaders?
– Ask how each participant’s confidence felt at the beginning of the task?
– Expand on the above to identify what led to rises and dips in confidence.

To download the Spaghetti Tower instructions as a PDF click here.

We hope you enjoy using this team building task and if you have any suggested activities for our blog do contact us at mail@varndev.co.uk.

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