Coinspiration and Cooperation


Activity:  bridges and sculptures

Kind: with one or more others, 3 or 4 people is best, 2 or 5 is OK.

Duration: 20-30 minutes


  1. Any surface or the floor where you can play with the “toys”


  1. Use as many as you like of the balls and sticks that are in your course package.  There are two parts to this activity, and you will have to disassemble the first part before you begin the second as you will need the materials.  If you can, take a photo of your bridge.  Save the sculpture to show your group.

     Part 1: Cooperation (building a bridge)

  1. 1)Your task is to build a bridge, that could if materially completed, enable a toy car to cross.  The bridge is to span one foot of space and be strong enough to support one cup of water (in a lightweight container).

  2. 2)Choose roles, one person to be architect, another an engineer, and a third as construction worker.  If you have more people invent more roles, if only two, then combine the architect and engineer and let the construction worker handle the materials.

  3. 3)Work cooperatively.  Create a plan, decide what you will create, and then discuss how you will accomplish the task.  Finally build the bridge and test it. (for this activity, mechanical failures will only add to the discussion, so don’t feel bad if they happen, but don’t plan for them either)

  4.      Part 2: Coinspiration (creating a sculpture)

  5. 4)Your task is to build a sculpture that represents learning. 

  6. 5)There are no roles, there are no specific instructions.  Simply let the design arise as you converse and do this together. 

  7. 6)In coinspiration you listen to the other or watch what the other does,  then let that inspire you to say something and do something.  You’re not taking turns in any formal way, but it tends to happen as you each flow between listening and talking, looking and doing.

a sculpture representing sustainability