Fun and Wisdom: The Cup Challenge

Well, the new school year has begun here at Yahl, and the 4/5 students have been off to a real hands-on start. During our first week, we participated in the “Cup Challenge”. This team-building exercise saw our students working in groups of 4 to construct a simple tower of plastic cups:


Final Structure to build










Seems too easy, doesn’t it? …………………..The catch? Students’ hands were not allowed to come into direct contact with the cups; rather, the children had to coordinate their movements and use a special rubber band tool to construct their pyramid. The photo below shows the starting structure the children had to work with:

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Getting ready: trying the rubber band tool for the first time!









In this challenge, effective team work was essential: communicating clearly with each other was one of the keys to success:


“Pull a little more to open the mouth of the tool!”









Starting on the second level









Getting there…








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Mission accomplished!








The exercise was a lot of fun, and also gave us an opportunity to reflect on what makes a successful team. After they’d built their pyramids, the children brainstormed the keys to their success and came up with the following mottos:

* Communicate with each other;

* Include everyone;

* Don’t give up, try again;

* Try different ways;

* Learn from your mistakes.

These mottos were then turned into colourful posters that we will hang up in our room; these posters will help remind us this year of what we need to do in order to succeed – together!

The idea for this activity is from Sciencegal’s blog.