Team Building Event at Ferrettie-Baugo Creek County Park August 22, 2016

The Penn Robotics team started off this year with a laid back meeting to start building relationships and getting acquainted with the team. Team 135 was extremely welcoming and has such a congenial atmosphere that makes newcomers, like us, feel right at home. The first step to bonding with a team is knowing their names; it is the key to building relationships. In order to learn the names of everyone on the team, our first activity was a “name game”. We all stood in a giant circle, and one person started off by saying their name and something they like that had the same first letter as their first name. The next person would then continue with their name as well as repeat all the names and things associated with them already said until the last person went.  This game helped with the memorizations of people’s names and had the ability to start some team jokes.


Once we knew each other’s names, it was time to start with building a better team relationship. The next game we played was a card matching game. One of our mentors taped a card to the back with a word or character on it. You had to ask people around first saying your name then asking yes or no questions to see what is on your back. It’s like playing 20 questions but with no limit to the number of questions. Once you know who you are then you go find your pair, like for example, the fox and the hound or ketchup and mustard. This game helps people talk as well as encouraging them to ask questions and speak to people they might not have normally have spoken to. It  After finding everyone’s pair we did a unique challenge. We were sorted into groups of four and had to build a protective casing out of plastic straws, cardboard, and tape to protect an egg being dropped from the roof of the shelter onto the cement floor. Each group put their minds together to create an interesting way to keep the egg from cracking.

We had twelve minutes to complete this task and the ending result was pretty interesting. Some were strange looking contraptions and others were just plain weird. For example, one group wrapped their egg in cardboard and had straws sticking out of the top and bottom and on the sides going perpendicular creating a “T” shape on the long strip of cardboard. Despite the limited amount of time our groups had, many of the products survived two or three drops, even taking a few forceful throws. Only one egg survived every drop. This game was creative and fun. We got to build a cushion for an egg with people we will work alongside the rest of the year. We got to see how they approach the problem, create a product, and see the tested solution that was adequate enough for the egg to not break. Students and mentors participated in this challenge and everyone enjoyed working with the brilliant minds that are Penn Robotics, bonding together to find a unique solution to a unique problem.

The next team bonding game was the knot game. A group of students would stand in a circle holding hands and tangle themselves. The object is to undo the knot without anyone letting go.  Using some brain power, as a team, the groups figured out to undo the knot and form back into their original circles. At many moments of the game we didn’t know what to do and had to stop and think for a few moments, but there was always one or two people who would approach the idea from a different angle seeing if we could untangle ourselves. Sometimes it would work and help undo a little bit more of the knot, and other times it was not helpful at all and just caused a lot of straining. When the groups the team divided into successfully untangled itself we all felt accomplished and gave ourselves a round of applause showing that even the little things accomplished as a team can make people happy.

To finish off the evening, we enjoyed an impromptu game of volleyball.  We didn’t keep score, so there were no hard feelings when it was over. This game was the highlight of the night for most of the team.  It was a great way to end things and get the team ready for the school year.


Written by: Olivia Adam and Mackenzie Richards

Edited by: Drason Chow

Categories: Blog

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