created by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council
Activities for Teams, Innovators
and Change Agents
MindShift is a collection of tools, games, and activities to inspire innovation, teamwork and engagement in health care settings.

Building Together

The Building Together activity encourages teams to work together to design and develop a structure using collaboration and teamwork. The goal is for the team to build the tallest freestanding tower with the limited materials provided. Take risks, be creative, and try new things!


Download Activity Worksheet

  • 30 minutes
  • Groups of 4, plus 1-2 judges
  • Each team of 4 requires:

    • 20 pieces of spaghetti
    • 1 large marshmallow
    • 1 metre of string
    • 1 metre of tape
    • 1 small brown paper bag
  • Source: marshmallowchallenge.com

What to do

  1. In groups of four, each team will be asked to build a structure using basic materials (see resource list).
  2. You have 15 minutes to build the tallest freestanding structure with only the materials provided.
  3. Once 15 minutes have elapsed, all teams must not touch their structures. The facilitator will measure each tower and record the highest height.
  4. The winner of the activity is whichever team has the tallest freestanding structure at the point of final measurement.

Debrief

This activity encourages critical thinking by asking team members to work together in a short period of time while using limited supplies. Teams must demonstrate quick decision-making, execute a plan, and show resilience in the face of challenges and frustrations. This has a strong parallel to teams in health care who must also work together and show resilience in the face of challenges.

After the winning team is announced, ask participants these questions:

  • What was the hardest part of this activity?
  • What was the easiest part of this activity?
  • What did you learn?
  • What would you do di erently if you had a chance to rebuild the tower?
  • What lessons from this activity can we apply to our work?
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