Coaching, Consulting & Training
What Others Are Saying
I worked with Rob for 18 months through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Mid-South Delta Initiative to develop a 'Strategic Vision" for the Delta. Through that experience and relationship, I'm more than honored to say that Rob was the beacon for our success. Thought provoking, challenging, compassionate, articulate, strict attention to detail, engaging, humourous and a gifted leader are the qualities that Rob Benson posesses. Because of those qualities, we were successful in accomplishing our goal and I came away a better person.
Clinton Walden, Community Consultant, W.K. Kellogg Mid-South Delta Initiative
(submitted by Linda Foreman, formerly of the Mississippi Development Authority, always an all-around super lady. Thanks Linda!)
Learning Objective: To introduce the idea of teamwork, communication and creative problem solving.
Group Size: Small groups of 5-7 people.
Space Required: a room with ample space for movement.
Time Required: 1 hour
Props Required: Lots of newspaper, rolls (6-8) of masking tape, a gallon jug 1/4 to 1/2 full of water, a plastic dishpan type container, cassette player, cassette tape with "William Tell Overture" or music with a hectic pace.
Activity Instructions: "You are going to build a bridge using only the newspaper and masking tape. The bridge must be strong enough to hold this bottle (show the bottle and let them check the feel of it for weight). Also, the bridge must be tall enough for the pan to pass underneath it. The bridge must be free-standing; not attached to the wall, a piece of furniture, a person or an article of clothing...FREE-STANDING."
Tell the group they are to line up according to birth month and day and CANNOT talk while doing this.
Next, starting with January each person reveals the month and date of birth. If any person is out of sequence, the groups is to say loudly "unh-hah".
Count off so that they are divided into teams.
Rules Summary: (Clarify understanding of rules. I also write them on flip chart.)
Tell them they will have 7 minutes to plan, discuss, etc., and to be sure everyone in the group is included. DO THEY HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? Time the 7 minutes. After the 7 minute discussion period, pass out the newspaper and tape. Inform the group they will now have 8 minutes to construct their bridge and, by the way, there will be no talking allowed during this 8 minutes.
At the end of 8 minutes, allow the groups 30 seconds to speak to each other and then an additional 3 minutes of SILENTLY work to complete their bridge. During this last work session, play the "William Tell Overture" (or other such music) loudly.
Call time and have one group at a time present their bridge. A spokesperson from each group will tell about their bridge and pass the pan under and put the jug on top. When the jug is put on top, all will count for 10 seconds. (This will be done for each group).
I've been asked numerous times for the solutions to this exercise or "please, a picture or two. This seems impossible ... " I tend to resist this because SOME OF YOUR BEST LEARNIING around how to facilitate these activities will come as you struggle through and do them yourself.
That having been said, many folk need a good activity NOW and don't have the time to figure it out on their own. So if you want a little peek ... then see the work of Jane Watson, Ruston Elementary School, who BRAVELY experienced the activity and THEN took these photos. (There, I've shamed you ... how could you possibly look now? You still want to? Incorrigible.)
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