A fun, team task with a practical element. Will the bridges be strong enough for a cart to cross? Who earns top score?
- 3-24 (up to four teams of 3-6 per team)
- 50 minutes + debrief
- to read instructions carefully
- to think before acting
- to think outside the box
- to optimise the use of individuals’ skills
- a team is more than the sum of its parts
To make your model bridge you need resources: A4 card, disposable cups, sticky tape and scissors. You buy these with points earned by solving a series of problems. Some are easy but the harder the problem, the greater the worth in points. Be careful, you only have one attempt at the answer so make sure you get it right.
Once you’ve designed your bridge you can start constructing but remember your overall objective is to get the highest point score possible, so don’t waste points on resources you don’t use. Another way to win points is the length and height of your bridge. Watch the design. If the cart topples or runs over the edge, you lose out on the massive 100 points you get for a successful crossing. How you maximise both opportunities is up to you!
It’s vital that your team thinks first because in the excitement and momentum of solving problems, buying resources and seeing your bridge materialise, it’s hard to keep cool. And at the end you just might kick yourself!
- Introduce the activity
- Issue Team Briefs and Task Sheets
- Issue resources in exchange for points as team solve the various problems
- After 50 minutes stop the teams, test the cart can be towed over safely and assess the final scores
- Lead a Debrief to discuss the learning outcomes and key lessons
- Relate the lessons to the workplace
- Full Trainer’s Notes explain all and give discussion notes.
- Trainer's Notes
- Team Briefs
- Construction card
- Paper cups
- Scissors and sticky tape
- Key Points Handout
- Team Review Sheet
The Bridge was huge fun
The learning points that came out of the activity were invaluable and really helped with the action planning and subsequent follow-up session.
Jayne Oates, Altogether HR
The Bridge went down a storm
It was very interesting to see how people think they are teams, but aren't "true" teams in the sense of working collectively.
Cary Davey, In-House Research & Training Ltd
A great exercise; enjoyable, fun, packed with lessons on teamwork
I used The Bridge on a training course with a group of 12. The learning points included plenty about teamwork - to allocate team roles, to communicate better, not to take criticism personally, to apply more control, to focus more clearly on task objectives and to listen.
Steve Laing, QC Training
Made everyone get involved - became very competitive but brought teams together - and was thoroughly enjoyable.
Training Manager, Local Government Dept
Very useful game
Brings out all the essential phases of teams; forming, storming, norming and performing. Used a lot with our project groups, new teams and junior management.