Blog January 24, 2014 by St Giles

Build strong communication skills with St Giles San Francisco

Build a Tower, Build Strong Communication Skills

Students in our Upper-Intermediate General English course in San Francisco recently completed “The Marshmallow Challenge”, a popular team-building activity frequently used in executive leadership seminars and businesses schools. Using only 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of string, and 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti the students had to work together to design the tallest structure they could. At the end they had to place one large marshmallow on top of their tower. With only 18 minutes to design and build their tower, the students had to work quickly to suggest ideas, problem-solve, and collaborate.

 

 

Students practiced using language for suggestions to express their ideas quickly and effectively. At the end of the 18 minutes only one team had a standing tower! The winning team gave an excellent explanation of their design process to the class. What was the secret to their success? They knew the marshmallow was heavier than it looked! The class then watched a TED talk on this design challenge. A lively discussion was had afterwards about the best way to build a prototype and to communicate to a team. A picture of the winning tower is below. If you’re interested in watching the video for yourself you can go to: http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_build_a_tower.html

If you would like to learn English in the USA at our English Language School in San Francisco, please visit our website or contact us for more information at sanfrancisco@stgiles-usa.com.