Team building: Crossing the bridge

Crossing the bridge is a great team building activity for any size group. Delegates will learn the importance of planning, achieving goals within limited resources and effective communication.

Objective of the game
Build a bridge between two desks that can support the weight of a 1ltr bottle of water using the resources provided.

List of resources

  • 1 newspaper
  • 1 roll of masking tap
  • A full 1-litre bottle of water

Method

  1. Split your delegates into teams of 3-6 members.
  2. Create a gauge between two tables approximately 2 – 3 feet wide.
  3. The teams should be given a pen and paper. They then have 15 minutes to plan the bridge and draw a blueprint onto the page. They cannot touch any of the resources at this stage.
  4. The teams then have 30 minutes to create their bridge and place it between the gauge. They are allowed to fix the bridge to the tables.
  5. At the end of the time, place the bottle on the bridge for 60 seconds and test if it holds.

Debrief
After the session, carry out a debrief to review what the exercise has taught your delegates and how they can use it in their day to day work. Here are some useful questions to guide the conversation:

  • Did the final design look like the blueprint? If not, why?
  • How well did the team work together?
  • What were the biggest challenges?
  • What would you do again differently?
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