Warm-ups

Ball Drop

Tag: Puzzle, Communication

Brief Description: Drop a ball into a bucket, the catch is everyone must touch the ball before it reaches the bucket after it is dropped

Time: 15 min

Group size: +10

Cost: A singular tennis ball and bucket

Benefits: Collaboration, problem solving

Walkthrough:

  1. Stand on a desk and drop a ball into a bucket on the ground

    1. The ball should fall for roughly 10 feet

  2. The puzzle is to have everyone touch the ball before it reaches the bucket – fastest time wins

    1. Time the group each time you release the ball

    2. Reset the test each time the group is ready to go again

  3. Record the fastest time to compete against other teams

  4. Global High Score: __ milliseconds

  5. Lead an activity discussion about what went well, what was difficult and what could have been better

  6. Ask for any improvements for the activity

Bucket Removal

Tag: Puzzle, Cooperation

Brief Description: Remove a bucket from the center of a 10 ft radius circle without going into the circle using bungee cords

Time: 20 min

Group size: 4-10

Cost: A dozen tennis balls, a bucket, and a 2*pi()*(10 feet) length rope

Benefits: Collaboration, problem solving

Walkthrough:

  1. Use the rope to create a large circle on the ground

  2. Place the bucket with the tennis balls in the center of the circle

  3. Give the team a lot of bungee cords

  4. Instruct the team to remove the bucket without stepping on the ground inside the circle

  5. Once they find a solution take away some element that made the solution possible

  6. Have the team try to complete the puzzle again

  7. After several iterations Lead an activity discussion about what went well, what was difficult and what could have been better

  8. Ask for any improvements for the activity

Structure Charades

Tag: Lego, Communication, Puzzle

Brief Description: Reconstruct a structure with two teams. One can see the structure to recreate but can’t speak or touch the recreation. The other team cannot see the structure, but may speak and must recreate it.

Time: ~20 min

Group size: Team size of 4-8, split team into two groups

Cost: Free – (Have access to legos)

Benefits: Improved team communication, problem solving

Walkthrough:

  1. Prep: Create a lego structure of 10-20 pieces

  2. Prep: Isolate the identical pieces to create the structure for each team participating

  3. Split each group in half into builders and watchers

  4. Builders may touch the structure and may speak

  5. Watcher may see the structure to recreate but can not speak or interact with the recreation

  6. The first team to recreate the structure wins

  7. Lead an activity discussion about what went well, what was difficult and what could have been better

  8. Ask for any improvements for the activity

“Egg” Drop

Tag: Puzzle, Engineering

Brief Description: Your convention egg drop engineering design challenge with a twist, use water balloons and conduct the activity outside (maybe hilly parking garage, any tall outdoor structure)

Time: 30 min

Group size: 2-6

Cost: $20 per group

Benefits: Team building, problem solving, communication

Walkthrough:

  1. Prep: Find durable water balloons and prefill them. (Cooler full of water can be great for water balloon transport)

  2. Provide each team with a test set of balloons, several sheets of cardboard and a roll of duct tape

  3. After 25 min halt all building and drop test each team’s contraption from incrementally higher heights till failure

  4. Lead an activity discussion about what went well, what was difficult and what could have been better

  5. Ask for any improvements for the activity

Build your own Escape Room

Tag: Puzzle, Cooperation, Communication

Brief Description: Find some small lockable boxes, resettable padlock, keys, a few sheets on cyphers and try to build your own escape room. Props if its data themed

Time: 30-120 min

Group size: 4-8

Cost: Can be free (recommend some papers encyclopias/large books, keys, locks, and boxes)

Benefits: Team building, problem solving, communication

Walkthrough:

  1. Provide each team with identical puzzle creation supplies (May be none)

  2. Let each team brainstorm out their puzzle and create it, 20-40 minutes

  3. When complete have each team find another team’s puzzle and attempt to solve it

  4. Lead an activity discussion about what went well, what was difficult and what could have been better

  5. Ask for any improvements for the activity

How are you today?

What Jelly Bean Flavor are you today?

Jelly Belly
Figure 1. Jelly Belly Flavor Guide

What cute animal are you today?

Cute Animals
Figure 2. Cute Animals

What type of donut are you today?

Donut Glossary
Figure 3. Donut Glossary

Which Taylor Swift are you today?

Taylor Swift
Figure 4. Taylor Swift

What type of halloween candy are you like today?

Halloween Candy
Figure 5. Halloween Candy

What type of pasta are you like today?

Pasta Dictionary
Figure 6. Pasta Dictionary

Pasta Tower

Tag: Cooperation, Puzzle, Engineering

Brief Description: Build the tallest free-standing tower that supports the marshmallow

Time: 20 min

Group size: 2-4

Cost: Bag of marshmallows, box of spaghetti pasta, roll of masking tape

Benefits: Collaboration, problem solving

Walkthrough:

  1. Provide each team with 5 strands of spaghetti, 12 inches of masking tape, and a marshmallow

  2. Each team has 15 minutes to make a free-standing structure that supports the marshmallow

  3. At the end of time measure the distance between the countertop and the top of the marshmallow

Wargames

Tag: Code, Linux, Puzzle, Learning

Brief Description: A coding puzzle game which is designed to teach beginning cybersecurity students, great for anyone new to linux/bash/terminal commands

Time: 5 min – 5 hours (variable)

Group size: any (can be done solo)

Cost: None

Benefits: Strengthen/teach linux commands, problem solving

Walkthrough:

  1. Put students in groups of any size

  2. Have everyone use: overthewire.org/wargames/bandit/ to reach the game

  3. Show everyone how to complete the first level (ssh into a server)

  4. Assist people in initial level then show them resources to figure out puzzles on their own

  5. Set a goal level for the groups to reach

  6. The first individual/team to reach the level wins

  7. If playing with groups, it is the first groups to have all persons reach the goal level

  8. People may not touch each other computer

  9. Lead an activity discussion about what went well, what was difficult and what could have been better

  10. Ask for any improvements for the activity

Jackbox Games

Brief Description: Party trivia games, maybe be mildly inappropriate

Format/System: In person or remote video game

Time: 15-120 min

Group size: 4-20

Cost: $25 USD but likely someone on the team has it

Scribble.io

Brief Description: Online free Pictionary

Format/System: video game

Time: 5-60 min

Group size: 5-20

Cost: None

Among Us

Brief Description: Online mafia or werewolf

Format/System: video game

Time: 15-90 min

Group size: 4-10

Cost: None (for IOS and android) $5 per person on PC

Keep talking and no one explodes

Brief Description: Bomb defusal communication game

Format/System: In person video game

Time: 20-90 min

*Group size:v 5-10

Cost: $15 USD

Graphy Party

Brief Description: Card game, apples to apples with graphs

Format/System: Card game

Time: 10-60 min

Group size: 5-15

Cost: Dr. Ward has a copy

Spaceteam

Brief Description: Communication game

Format/System: IOS and android video game

Time: 5-30 min

Group size: 2-8

Cost: Free

Mario Kart

Brief Description: Fun!

Format/System: Nintendo Switch

Time: 5-120 min

Group size: 1-4

Cost: $60 USD although someone on the team likely has it

Ultimate Smash Bros.

Brief Description: Fun!

Format/System: Nintendo Switch

Time: 5-120 min

Group size: 1-8

Cost: $60 USD although someone on the team likely has it