Practical team challenges train soft skills in a playful & intuitive way +++
“Madame Gifty, we want to build the bulldozer… NOW!” – the excitement is in the eye of our young trainees. Before the teams can start with the challenge, they get instructions; they are part of the game. Our team defines the roles: we have quality manager, construction worker and logistic managers. Everybody plays a certain role to complete a small project assignment in form of metal construction kits.
Like in real life, everybody must fulfill its responsibilities. And everybody has to stick to instructions. And everybody has to collaborate. Building together a complex thing like a movable bulldozer or a F1 racing car excites and confuses our students. Some are not used to follow instructions and just try – this latest leads to conflicts, when their module is needed to be combined with another one and the connection do not fit. Like in real work life. Our team moderates the conflicts and gives advice how to handle this – basics like getting a mutual understanding are main take-aways.
>>> Check out our CLASSROOM VIDEO how such sessions look in reality! <<<
What we found amazing of the metal construction kits (which are designed not only for fun, but also for educational purposes) is their complexity that requires real planning and true thinking. In addition, it is possible to split the work in modules to simulate a real project assignment and collaboration in teams. For this, the team prepared upfront defined modules and small project plans, printed out for the students.
Skills like precise communication, team-play and also management of frustration are key for a successful career. To develop such, small groups are needed with a dedicated instruction team and most important, a practical approach. In developed countries, the youth acquires such skills mostly in executing their hobbies or in youth projects. In Ghana, such opportunities are rare, especially outside the big metropoles. We try to close this gap at our partnering rural public schools and feel that the approach actually impacts the skills & behaviour of the students. Being exposed to such a program is a big opportunity for them – the team is pushing hard to continue & extend the work to more schools.
A big thank you to our volunteer Heiko from Germany who brought in this idea and donated the first set of construction kits. We are truly greatful for this impact!