We all know that team building is important promotes trust and even boosts productivity within a company. With technology playing an increasingly important role in our lives, why not incorporate it into bonding activities for your squad? Aside from sharpening critical thinking, STEM can increase creativity and foster a love for learning. For experiences that will be sure to leave a lasting impact, be sure to check out these seven team-building STEM activities!
Build Straw Bridges
Beam bridges are the most common type of bridge designed by engineers and in this game, each team will be using straws to make models! The goal is to make the strongest bridge given the materials and constraints. Inform the players that each end of the bridge will be upheld by a support system (i.e. blocks, tables). To start, split your team into groups of 2-3 people. Then pass out 20 straws, some scotch tape, a ruler, and some scissors to each team. Allocate a designated amount of time to complete the task and in the end, test each bridge’s strength by placing objects in their centers!
Construct a Popsicle Stick Tower
Popsicle sticks, also known as craft sticks, are so versatile! In this case, you’ll be using them to build towers. The end goal is to try to make the highest tower possible. Firstly, split your team into groups of 2-3 people. Give each team some popsicle sticks to begin and leave a pile where groups can come to replenish their supply. Pass out some Elmer’s glue (or wood glue if you’re feeling fancy), set a timer, then let the challenge begin!
Try a High-Tech Escape Room
If your team loves puzzles, then this activity is perfect! Over the years, companies have adapted to a shifting trend toward technology一that includes the realm of escape rooms. For an exciting adventure that will sharpen your mind, book an event with your team! If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area (or are planning a visit) feel free to check out Reason. Your team will have one hour to complete a game with a theme of your choosing ranging from recalibrating a station on Mars to fixing a glitch in a microchip factory.
This activity is sure to test your creativity and fine motor skills! Split your group into even teams and pass out the following materials: 10 plastic cups per group, 2 straws per person, 1-2 feet of string per person, and 1 cotton ball per person. The goal of the game is to stack the cups to make a tower. However, there is one condition: no one is allowed to touch the cups. Teams must think outside of the box to build their tower and the first group to do so wins!
Space Docking Challenge
Space exploration relies on teamwork, and in this game, your team will be simulating navigating a space vehicle to a docking port! This will need some preparation so before you begin, obtain a PVC ring, a bowl, a ball, and long strings. For every player, grab a string and attach one end to the PVC ring, ensuring that there is an even distance between them. When the PVC mechanism is finished, have every player hold one end of a string to lift the mechanism up. Place the bowl down some feet away from the team and put the ball on top of the PVC ring. The goal is for the team to work together and carefully dock the “ship” onto the port (bowl). You can increase the difficulty by spreading obstacles on the floor!
Paper Chromatography Art
Want a combination of art and STEM? Try paper chromatography art, where you can discover the different components that makeup marker ink! You’ll need white coffee filters, clear cups, rulers, binder (or any) clips, and water-based markers. To begin, cut the coffee filters into strips. Pass out a strip to each person and have them choose a marker color to draw a line across their strip with the requirement of leaving about ¾ of an inch from the bottom. Then, grab the clips to attach the colored strips to the inside of a clear cup, using as many cups as needed. Fill the cups ½ inch up with water (make sure that the marker line DOES NOT touch the water) and watch the magic happen!
This is great for when you’re feeling crafty! Discover the science behind pinwheels with a hands-on experience of building some with your team! For this project, you’ll need scissors, pencils, rulers, square-shaped papers (you can have your team create their own designs), straws, pushpins, and masking tape. To start, use a ruler to mark the center of the square with a pencil. Then, draw diagonal lines starting from each corner going towards the center, stopping midway. Use scissors to follow the lines then fold every other point to the center and secure with a pushpin. Attach the remainder of the pin to straw and cover the end with masking tape to smoothen the sharp point. If the wind calls for it, bring your newly designed pinwheels for a test outside!