In this real-life simulation activity, students work in groups, each situated in an isolated room, to create a prototype of a product. Only representatives from each group can meet regularly to discuss some details.

Aims and objectives

  • to develop communication skills in a real-life simulation
  • to work in groups and solve problems creatively
  • to prepare a presentation and deliver it

Material needed

  • Each subgroup needs a room/space to work in unwatched by others.
  • Room/space for meeting of representatives
  • Large clock for time of the game
  • Identical set of material for every team (such as):
  • 1 chair, 2 cola cases, large plastic bag, coloured paper, balloons, soup ladle, one pair of scissors, a role of masking tape, one large piece of paper, markers


Make sure that enough room/space is available for meetings and work of subgroups. Prepare identical sets of material (see above).

Step by step description

1. Storyline

You (the teacher) are the CEO of a large international corporation, specialized on vehicles for transportation. The students are employees of this company and have come together for an executive meeting of leading staff.

The corporation has a new and important client and the chance to make “The Million Dollar Deal”. The client wants this cooperation and knows that the company is reliable, works well, would be a really good partner. Still, a test run is needed to make sure the product can be manufactured to satisfaction.

The client wants to see:

  • Precision of work
  • Quality of Craftsmanship
  • Level of Creativity

The employees come from different countries, and each country is represented by 4 – 6 employees (e.g. if there are 16 students, you can have 3-4 groups).

The task for the employees is to produce an identical prototype of the product in all the production plants worldwide (e.g. in Hongkong China, Assuan Egypt, Kiev Ukraine, Sao Paolo Brazil) within the given time.

2. Each team in each plant needs to:

  • build a prototype of a transportation vehicle, able to transport 1 person safely
  • produce technical drawings of the prototype
  • prepare an instruction manual / directions for use of the prototype
  • think of an advertisement strategy including a poster, a name, a slogan

The teams have 45 – 60 days (minutes) to deliver their work. Time can be slightly altered so that it fits the particular context. Each team works in their own room/production plant. No other production plant may be visited during the activity.

3. Each team can send 1 – 2 representatives to speak in personal meetings to coordinate the work, maximum meeting time is 15 – 20 days (15 – 20 minutes). These meetings are held in a neutral room or in the corridor (not in one of the production plants).

Each representative can only come to a meeting once.

The first meeting is fixed by you, the CEO (6 – 8 minutes after the game has started), all other meetings are arranged by the representatives themselves.

4. At the end the prototypes are presented by and to all. If the group process works well, the prototypes will look fairly similar at the end and show the “individual” touch of each group. You could hand over special prizes for different aspects of the job: creative solutions, convincing advertisement strategy, detailed and clear description etc.

Reflection with the students / questions for debriefing

  • What was the most difficult step in the production of the prototype?
  • How did the group process work? How did the students organize themselves and decide upon tasks in the group? Did they realize particular obstacles or challenges?
  • Do the students guess that the meetings for coordination were helpful and productive?
  • Do the students like how things turned out at the end?

Reference / original source of the method

Gilsdorf, Rüdiger und Kistner, Günther: Kooperative Abenteuerspiele – Praxishilfe für Schule, Jugendarbeit und Erwachsenenbildung, mit Illustrationen von Katharina Becker. Seelze-Velber: Kallmeyer, 1995 (Edition: Gruppe & Spiel). Only in German language.

Further tips and resources

Many of the well known activities of this field were developed by Karl Rohnke. Find information about his books here: