Build a Big Structure


Teams are tasked with building a structure using the resources provided in just ten minutes. The structure must be big enough so a team member can completely pass under it in less than one minute. Creative thinking, cooperation and time management are essential in this challenge.

Time: 20 minutes

  • 2 minutes for task Introduction
  • 10 minutes to build the structure
  • 3 minute to test (based on 3 groups)
  • 5 minutes to reviewing and debrief

Space required: Small. Either Indoors or Outdoors


  • 3 cereal or shoe boxes
  • 3 cardboard tubes (12 inches [30cm] or less)
  • 1 sheet of sticky labels
  • 5 corks
  • 5 pieces of A4 paper
  • 5 straws
  • 5 paper clips
  • 1 egg carton

Gather the resources and provide a large area for the team to work in. Read the list of resources and challenge instructions.

Build a Big Structure Instructions

You have 10 minutes to build a structure that one team member can pass under. You will be notified when you have just one minute remaining in the task. At the end of the allotted construction time, you will need to choose one person to pass under the structure. The entire body of the chosen team member must pass completely under the structure in less than one minute. The travelling team member cannot touch any part of the structure. If the structure is touched, you may try again as long as you have enough time remaining.

Teams will be scored out of 10 on their creativity, communication and cooperation as judged by the facilitator (for a total score out of 30). 20 bonus points are awarded if a team completes the challenge successfully and their team member passes under their structure.

Suggested Learning Objectives:

  • Creative thinking
  • Cooperation
  • Problem Solving
  • Time management

Questions for Review:

  • How did you come up with your structure design? Did everyone have an opportunity to provide input?
  • How important was time on this task? How did you manage this?
  • Did anything not going according to plan? How did you overcome this?
  • Did everyone within the team have a responsibility?
  • How well did you work together? Is there anything you could have done differently to make it easier?
  • What was the most difficult part of the task? Did you get frustrated at any point?
  • Did you have enough resources to build? How could you have made it easier?
  • Reflecting back on the building task, is there anything you would do differently next time?

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