Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Helium Stick

This is an activity I learned from one of my intern supervisors, Jill Comarell.  I've done it several times since then and it's always gone over well!


Light weight pole around 10 feet long (or a hula hoops works really well too!)

Purpose:  To demonstrate the importance of focusing on a common goal when working on a group project and to teach about the importance of communication and teamwork.

Discuss with patients the importance of teamwork.  Explain that when trying to complete a task as a group everyone must work together.

Divide the group into two teams, each facing each other.  The teams should stand shoulder to shoulder.  Everyone should bend their elbows to a 90 degree angle.  Their index fingers should point out.

Place the "helium stick" on top of the fingers, so that it rests on everyone's collective fingers.  Nobody is allowed to touch the stick with any finger besides their index fingers.

Tell the group their objective is to lower the stick to the ground without anyone's fingers letting go of the stick.  If anyone's fingers is caught not touching the stick, the group will have to start over!

The stick will always go up!!  The secret is that the collective upwards pressure tends to be greater than the weight of the stick.  Often the more the group tries, the more it floats.

Discuss the activity with the group.  Consider the following questions:
-What was the initial reaction of the group?
-How well did the group cope with this challenge?
-What skills does it take to be successful in this challenge?
-How well did the group work together?
-How well did the group communicate?
-What creative solutions were proposed and how were they received and/or implemented?
-What would an outsider have observed the strengths and weaknesses of the group to be?
-What role did each person play in the group?
-What did each group member learn about him/herself as an individual?

I like to use a hula hoop when I do this at my facility.  I also talk about codependency and relationships when we process.

No comments:

Post a Comment