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Builders and Architects

Builders and Architects

Your challenge is to recreate a structure that you haven't seen, using only non-verbal instructions.

This is a 2-part challenge.


In Part 1, you will have 5 minutes to come up with non-verbal communication method and practice.

In Part 2, you will have 5 minutes to recreate a hidden structure, and demonstrate your solution to the judges.


(see set-up)



There is a structure hidden behind a screen. This is not visible to anybody during part 1.

There are 2 boxes of materials.

One that can be used to recreate the hidden structure.

Another contains items to use as part of a non-verbal communication system.


Build a structure of varying complexity.

Your structure must be hidden from both sub-teams until part 2 begins and then it should only be seen by the Architects when part 2 begins. This can be done by keeping it in a covered box or behind a curtain.

To build the target structure, use what ever you have easy access to. Lego's work well if you want to keep it simple. To make it more complex, you can use just about anything that you have two of. Build a tower or a bridge or whatever else strikes your fancy.

After you build the structure, hide the structure from view and place the same quantity of the items that were used into the builders' box.

The communicating tools in the Architects' box could be: A can of soda, a ruler, a non sharpened pencil, a pretzel, an eraser, a ball, a deck of cards, a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter. The team may use all or just some of these items.


At the beginning of time, the team will divide members in two sub-teams.

One sub-team will be the “Builders”.

The other sub-team will be the “Architects”.

There is a hidden structure that is not visible to either sub-team until Part 2 begins.

At that time, the solution is revealed for only the Architects to see.

There are two boxes each with a set of items, which are different for each sub-team.

The Builders’ box will have all of the items needed to construct and recreate the original hidden structure.

The Architects’ box will have completely unrelated items i.e. with none of the items that will be used to recreate the hidden structure.

In Part 1, the two sub-teams may handle the items in each box, but the Architects’ and Builders’ items must not be mixed together.

In Part 2, the Architects must communicate non-verbally using only the items provided in their box.

Remember that the Architects must be nonverbal in voice and in body language.

Signaling to the Builders by shaking ones hand or head to give direction will be viewed as verbal body language and

not permitted.


Ability to establish a creative means of non-verbal communication: 1-50 points

Accuracy of recreation of target structure: 1- 100 points

Teamwork: 1-25 points

Penalty for speaking during part 2: 1-5 points each infraction

Penalty for communicating without using an item from the Architects' box: 1-5 points each time


Were team member tasks and responsibilities sorted out clearly?

Were team members appropriately divided into sub-teams?

Did the architects use communication items and other non-verbal methods effectively?

What would the team do differently if they did it again?

Switch teams and redo the solution in a different configuration, or change out some of the props. The builders may ask questions directed to the architects at anytime but don't let them know this unless they ask.

The architects team must be warned every time they communicate without the use of the tools provided.

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