Sci Fi Tube
This fun tool is similar to the UFO Ball, but is an easier visual for larger groups. The Sci Fi Tube or "Energy Stick," looks like a simple tube with lights inside, but when both ends wrapped in silver are touched simultaneously, the stick lights up and makes noise. The tool itself is pretty fun, but once you add a significant debriefing point to the experience, it drives home the metaphor of the power of experience. Here's how we like to use it:
Ways to use it!
- Invite your group to stand or sit in a circle.
- Conduct a brief discussion on the value of connection. Why is it important? What are the benefits of being connection to a group or an individual?
- As the facilitator, hold the Sci-Fi Tube in your left hand, making sure you are grasping the metal plate. Ask ‘Bob’, the person on your left, if he will demonstrate the activity with you. Invite him to grab the other end of the Sci-Fi Tube with his right hand without physically touching you (meaning, no skin to skin contact between the two of you).
- Now describe to the group that you may not know very much about ‘Bob’, your partner, but you both work at the same organization (which is represented by the Sci-Fi Tube). Explain that when you make a connection with ‘Bob’ exciting things can happen. At this moment reach up with your right hand and touch Bob’s left hand. The moment you make physical contact with Bob’s left hand the Sci-Fi Tube will light up and make noise.
- Notice the Ooooh’s and Ahhhh’s that erupt from the group.
- This is a wonderful tool used to teach the value of connection in your team.
- Next, disconnect hands with Bob and invite the entire group to hold hands with the person standing next to them in the circle.
- Once everyone is connected hand to hand, reconnect to the Sci-Fi Tube with Bob. The tube will immediately light up and start making noise again. If one person disconnects from the team the tube will stop making noise. That's a powerful metaphor to debrief the effects on a team when someone is not giving 100%! Emphasize that when someone disconnects from the team, it has an effect on everyone else in the circle. Pretty powerful metaphor!
- The largest group we have experimented with was 225 people.
For all of the school teachers out there, it can teach the science of closed circuits with amusement.
1. If everyone is connected to the mission, vision or values of the group, surprising things can happen. If someone disconnects from these it has an effect on everyone else in the group
2. The importance of maintaining a connection.
See also, The UFO Ball