Activity Description

Scrap Tower Game

Groups must compete with each other, in order to erect the tallest tower. The tower must be able to support a heavy object, not touching the ground, for at least 10 seconds. Precise preparation, as well as innovative thought is vital, if this game is to be successful. 

Benefits of the Scrap Tower Activity

Required Resources per team:

2 x newspapers,

2 x rolls of Sellotape,

1 x tape measure

test object (anything will do)

Space Required: Small. Indoors or Outdoors.

Group Size: 10 to 16 ideally (3-5 in teams)

Total Time: 40 – 45 minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief and setup
  • 25 – 30 minutes to achieve outcome
  • 5 Minutes for testing
  • 5 minutes to review and debrief

Brief for participants of Scrap Tower Experiential Activity

Your team must design and build a tower to hold a weighted item off the ground. The team that has the tallest tower and that can hold the test item for a minimum of 10 seconds wins the challenge.

You have a total of 40 minutes to plan, design and build your tower.

Rules of the Scrap Tower Experiential Activity

  • Only resources provided can be used for your tower build.
  • Towers must be freestanding and portable (not requiring any support from any person or object).
  • Team members may not interfere with another team’s build.
  • If any guidelines are broken, your team will be disqualified from the challenge.
  • Towers must be freestanding and portable (not requiring any support from any person or object).
  • Team members may not interfere with another team’s build.

Running the Scrap Tower Experiential Activity

  • Split the group into smaller teams of 3-5 participants.
  • Introduce the activity: Your team must design and build a tower to hold a weighted item off the ground. The team that has the tallest tower and that can hold the test item for a minimum of 10 seconds wins the challenge.
  • Give each group a newspaper and a roll of tape – these are the only items they will have to complete the challenge.
  • The time permitted to complete the challenge is 40 minutes.

Activity Guidance and Notes for Scrap Tower Activity 

Each team is allotted between 25 to 40 minutes (dependent on your program or profile of participants) to build their tower, this may appear to be too much, but all the teams will be racing to complete the task. If you are planning this exercise with children, it will be a good idea to set aside a time to check their progress. This is just to make sure they remain on schedule.

Attempting the exercise with adults, give the group 40 minutes to complete the building of their tower and get them to press on. If they are not able to complete the task, then use it as key points during the review. The exercise involves organisation and action planning, these you can debate over and discuss.

Where you can, keep the group size as small as possible (3 to 5 members). If you operate with larger groups, the tendency is that most of the members will just be idle and watch instead of becoming actively involved.

Variations of Scrap Tower Experiential Activity

The key is teamwork and not focusing on competition. This is why it is vital to try and get smaller groups working together. Have the groups try and erect the highest tower they can build. As soon as the towers are finished, take the measurements of each tower and add them together and come up with final height total.

Now get the groups to consider the exercise and evaluate how they planned the building. Then, by making use of what they discovered, get them to erect new towers. The object of these newly erected towers will be to attempt to improve the total score of the first towers built.

By doing this, all in the groups can add to the task and learn about efficient cooperation, deliberation and continuing action planning.

Debriefing and Reviewing of Scrap Tower Experiential Activity

Some questions to ask, which helps to evaluate the teams experience during the game of Scrap Tower:

  • Did you have a plan for the exercise?
  • Were all the team members involved in the negotiations and did they share their thoughts?
  • What was your ultimate design?
  • Who designated the responsibilities of each member in the team?
  • Was there a need to change your design while building the tower? Is it vital to assess and then change?
  • Did your group work as a team when building? What are the major factors of cooperation?
  • As you assess your task is there anything that you would change?
  • Did you complete the task in time? Was it important for you to observe time?
  • Regarding the task, was there anything that amazed you and did you gain anything from it?

Scrap Tower Experiential Activity Team Building

Basic Details
Property Type : Team Building
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Team Building
Focus On : Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Having Fun, Time Management
Outcome Based : Yes
Facilities : Indoor, Outdoor
Props Required : Minor
Duration : 16 - 25 minutes
Exertion Level : Low
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30, 31+
Age : Children, Youth, Adults