Stick - Stack
Stick-stack is a great table top activity that can be used in a wide variety of applications. It is especially useful when you want a team or group to discover the importance of having a solid foundation to build their team upon.
- Gum drops (approximately 16 per team)
- 10”-12” bamboo skewers (approximately 16 per team)
Have the group divide into pairs. If you have an odd number of people, allow one team of three people to participate.
Give each pair approximately 15-16 skewers, and about that many gum drops.
Their objective is to build the tallest free standing structure that they can, using only the gum drops and skewers.
Inform them that it is a timed event, and that they will have five minutes to complete their structure.
Also, each participant can use only one hand. (This adds to the fun, and requires much more teamwork.)
(Caution team members to be careful not to stick each other with the skewers.)
Start the clock and have them begin. Notify them of the time remaining after each minute has elapsed.
At the end of 5-6 minutes, call time. Have team members let go of their creations. This will determine if their structures are “free standing.”
- Ask the group how they approached the challenge?
- What elements of teamwork were required for success?
- Was any planning required/performed?
- How were they impacted by the pressures of time/deadlines? Relate this to their actual work.
- Ask them to identify what structural characteristics were necessary to meet the “free standing” objective. This will always lead to comments about the base, or foundation. This is perhaps the strongest processing point from the activity, as it lets you shift to a discussion regarding the foundation necessary for successful teams, etc.
Simple, but powerful in lessons discovered.