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Bridge Building

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A group challenge to build free-standing bridge with newspapers and tape that is high enough for a large can to go under and strong enough that the bridge can support the weight of the can.

-Equipment List:

  • One roll of tape per group.

  • About a 5cm pile of newspapers.

  • One one-litre (quart) container full of water--or a full apple juice container...


-Equipment Link:

-Setting Up:

  • Esplain to the group that this challenge is completed with no-one speaking. 

  • Ask for a volunteer from each group to go to a different room to get a roll of tape for their group.

  • When the tape person is gone inform the group to gently ostracize this person when they return--do not accept their suggestions...

  • Once teams have built their bridge there is a need for debriefing immediately afterwards to explain that the ostracization was on account of the leader's instructions.


  • Once all the instructions have been given all players must remain silent in completing their task.

  • When the player with the roll of tape returns, the teams can begin putting their bridge together.

  • Determine which group can complete the task the quickest.

-Questions & Notes:

  • Questions for Understanding:

  • First, inform the players who went to get the roll of tape is that it was you who told the groups to ostracize them.

  • Then, ask them how it felt to be ostracized.

  • Then, ask the group how it felt to ostracize someone.

  • Then, talk about how you and the groups felt the ostracization affected the ostracized player.

  • Second, how the leadership of the group evolved and how it helped or hindered the construction of the bridge.

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