Traversing the Solar System via Teamwork

This Continuous Learning session, Pritam and Bhushan took us around the solar system. The only condition they put forth was that we travel as a team. The trip was a freebie, but it came with its own hurdles and they told us that we had to dodge these hurdles. How we managed it was left to us.

The hurdles were not easy and had everything from imaginary rockets to black holes as hurdles. We did have check posts or resting points that made the journey beautiful – the different planets in our solar system. Everyone put on your spacesuits – the space ship is ready to depart.

Now that you all are settled in and looking forward to the journey, which Pritam and Bhushan had planned on a large piece of paper. The paper was marked at some places with our planets and at other places with holes that were supposed to be black hole. The goal was to travel the solar system without falling into these black holes. The space ship was interesting too – it was a ball that we had to pass through the solar system and save from falling into the black hole.

If you are wondering how we were to do that, it was simple. We had divided ourselves into teams and each team had to hold on to the sides of the roll the paper to create waves to replicate space. It was then the ball – the space ship – was dropped into this large sheet of paper and rolled around. Stopping or going slow would mean that the ball fell in to one or the other black hole. It meant we had to be on our toes (or rather hands, in this case) to ensure that didn’t happen.

We began our space odyssey. It was exciting, and fun and it meant we had to be extra careful to dodge those killer black holes.  Each played two sets. The first one was easy. The second one was difficult and came with punishments – we had to start again.

We fell and we got up again and managed to get through I think as far as Jupiter before the bell rang on the activity. Then it was time to relive the experiences and the share the lessons (a few of which I am sharing below). The game was one that was filled with laughter and Pritam said he wanted to plan a team activity with equal emphasis on efficiency and he definitely succeeded.

Shubham learned something really nice and he was humble enough to accept it in front of everyone – the names of all the planets in our solar system. J He agreed that they didn’t think about a strategy till Vivek came.

For most people, the activity was difficult – Bhanu for one. The second game even more so and everyone had doubts such as if the speed will help the ball surpass the black holes.

Hamza felt that breaking a difficult situation to get to the end goal would be great and discussed how she felt about the different strategies they used.

Astha learned about tackling situation which are not in one’s control and Blessy added that more the chaos, more the difficulty.

Yogita likened the activity to a train – a slow train that stops at each station and a super-fast express that reaches its destination quickly. She said that sometimes, it is possible that we may not reach the destination when going slow, but could enjoy the journey (in this case the lesson).

Vivek appreciated Pritam and Bhushan for the efforts they had put in for this session and discussed the 4 points in the management theory that were prominent during the session. First, the Forming Stage when trust is high and assumptions are rosy and everything is goody-goody. The second stage, Storming where everything is questioned (why don’t you do this, would it be good to do this). The 3rd stage – Norming where adjustments are made and 4th the Performing Stage where performance counts.

He also talked about the weapons used in the play – how to ensure the ball doesn’t fall through, run over, or fall in and can actually swing on the paper – these weapons should help master the problems and solve them. From his experience, he also told everyone that it is possible that being too focused on the goals keeps one away from learning and learning is important.

It was a good activity – we had fun, learned the names of planets that we had forgotten after school days, created meaning out of chaos and worked as a team as we traversed around the solar system.

Thank you Pritam and Bhushan for this wonderful journey!

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