Balance Ball Instant Challenge

(for the purpose of this challenge we are using a basketball, feel free to substitute another type of ball)

 The Challenge

Use the materials provided to build a freestanding tower as tall as possible on top of a basketball.

Time: You will have 7 minutes total time

  • 2 minutes to discuss strategy
  • Up to 5 minutes to build your tower

 

Setup: On the table is a basketball resting in a coffee mug for stability. Also, on the table are the materials you may use to build your tower.

Procedure:

  • Part One (2minutes): Discuss your strategy. During this part of the challenge, you may NOT touch any of the materials.
  • Part Two (5 minutes): Use the materials to build a freestanding tower as tall as possible that sits on top of the basketball.

In order to receive score, the tower must be built on top of the basketball but may NOT be connected to it.

Materials

  • 10 toothpicks
  • 6 paper clips
  • 1 piece of foil
  • 4 plastic spoons
  • 2 paper cups
  • 4 straws
  • 4 mailing labels
  • 2 pieces of paper
  • 2 rubber bands

The mailing labels may NOT be attached to the basketball.

Scoring – You will receive:

20 points if you have a tower built on top of the beach ball at the end of Part Two

1 point (40 points maximum) for each inch of height of your tower at the end of Part Two

Up to 20 points for how creatively you use the materials.

Up to 20 points for how well your team works together.

 

Do Ahead

Set up: One basketball placed in a coffee mug for stability

Material: (x2 if you will be repeating the challenge)

  • 10 toothpicks
  • 6 paper clips
  • 4 plastic spoon
  • 2 paper cups
  • 4 straws
  • 4 mailing labels
  • 2 rubber bands
  • 1 piece of foil 12 inches long
  • 2 pieces of paper

 

Debrief – After the team has finished their challenge discuss the following:

  • What kind of issues did you encounter when you built your tower on a rounded surface?
  • How could you have used your materials differently?
  • Did you use your planning time in Part 1 well?
  • Did you finish your tower in time?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • How was your teamwork? What could you have done differently? What worked well? What didn’t work?

 

Follow Up:

  • Using the same materials, repeat the challenge after the debriefed. This gives them the opportunity to apply any corrections discussed during the debrief time.
  • Do the challenge again using different materials.
  • Use a different type of ball: beach ball, tennis ball, rubber ball, ping pong ball.