At the time of writing, I have just under five weeks left in my job as a Digital Product Manager for Routledge academic publishing house (which I love). I liftshare to work with a very good friend called Mel, who, somewhat bizarrely, I went to junior and secondary school with, but then lost touch with. We learnt in the middle of 2013 that we work at the same company – although she works in the ‘Journals’ business and I in the ‘Books’ part of our parent company, Taylor and Francis – and she has been driving me to work since last year 🙂
We have lots of chats about work, play and our plans for the weekend, as you would expect. But the other day I actually had a productive teaching idea related to something Mel was telling me about. She was recounting the details of her day; half of which she had spent in a department-wide meeting, in which there were little team-building exercises. For one of those exercises, she said they had to work in small groups to prioritise a list of items they’d need if they crashed on the moon, as per the instructions below:
You are a member of a space crew originally scheduled to rendezvous with mother ship on the lighted surface of the moon. However, due to mechanical difficulties, your ship was forced to land at a spot some 200 miles from the rendezvous point. During reentry and landing, much of the equipment aboard
was damaged and, since survival depends on reaching the mother ship, the most critical items available must be chosen for the 200-mile trip. Below are listed the 15 items left intact and undamaged after landing. Your task is to rank order them in terms of their importance for your crew in allowing them
to reach the rendezvous point. Place the number 1 by the most important item, the number 2 by the second most important, and so on through number 15 for the least important.
Although it’s hardly my own innovation, it was still the first time I had actually come up with a teaching resource idea, so this was quite a breakthrough for me. It would have to be adapted considerably, even for higher-level learners, but I still think it would be quite a good discussion point.
And if anyone is interested, that resource itself is saved here.
In Googling this before Mel sent the original onto me, I also found this NASA learners’ website which has a similar activity.