Toxic Waste Exercise- I participated in this team-building activity with colleagues in Little Silver when I was a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction and quickly sought to facilitate it in my current district because it so effectively brought us all together to solve a fictional problem. Materials can be purchased from The Wilderdom Store. Here is a description of the task:
- Use the provided rope to create a circle at least 8 ft in diameter on the ground to represent the toxic waste radiation zone. The larger the radiation zone, the more difficult the activity.
- Place the small bucket provided in the center of the radiation zone and fill it with water or balls to represent the toxic waste.
- Place the large neutralization bucket provided approximately 30 to 50 feet away. The greater the distance, the more difficult the activity.
- Put all other equipment provided (i.e., bungee, cords) in a pile near the rope circle.
- The challenge is for the group to work out how to transfer the toxic waste from the small bucket into the large bucket where it will be "neutralized", using only the equipment provided and within a time frame. The waste will blow up and destroy the world after 20 minutes if it is not neutralized.
- Anyone who ventures into the radiation zone will suffer injury and possibly even death, and spillage will create partial death and destruction. Therefore, the group should aim to save the world and do so without injury to any group members.
- The rope circle represents the radiation zone emanating from the toxic waste in the bucket. Emphasize that everyone must maintain a distance (circle radius) from the toxic waste wherever it goes, otherwise they will suffer severe injury, such as loss of a limb or even death.
- Give the group some planning time with no action e.g. 5 mins. Then start the clock and indicate it is time for action, e.g., 15 or 20 mins.