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Teamwork in Aerospace


These pages describe an educational activity which has been presented by Tom Benson of the NASA Glenn Research Center at several schools and workshops. There are two main objectives to the activity; one is to expose the students to the operation of the aerospace industry, and the other is a team dynamics exercise. After completing the background information, the students are ready to begin the activity.

On this page we have put some special slides for a more difficult version of the game. In this variation, the companies are subdivided into their respective work units; management, design, manufacturing, and testing. This now becomes an exercise in communications skills because there are very clear lines of responsibility. One group must explain to the next group what is to be done, but they can't do it themselves. For example, the designer must tell the manufacturer how to fold a paper airplane, but the designer can't do any folding. This is really difficult!

Here are the slides for the various work units:

The activity tasks

The activity tasks

These are the manager's tasks. To put even more pressure on the manager (since they make the big bucks!), the manager is responsible for anyone on the team that breaks the rules pilot folding an airplane, for example). For any violation of the rules, the team is disqualified and the manager is responsible.

The activity tasks

The activity tasks

The activity tasks

The final discussion of this version of the game is slightly different than the normal game because of all of the difficult elements of communication.

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CLICK HERE to download your own power point presentation of the entire activity.


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Editor: Nancy Hall
NASA Official: Nancy Hall
Last Updated: May 13 2021

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