Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Serious Work at Real Change

Here at Real Change we take everything we do seriously. One of the things we do is have All Staff Meetings every two weeks. Those are meetings in which all the staff sit around a table and meet. In our seriousness about these meetings, we decided to dedicate one of our recent meetings to the question "What are All Staff Meetings for?"

Our Vendor Staff Director, Tara Moss agreed to facilitate that meeting. To prepare us all for the discussion she sent around a link to a video talking about research into the "marshmallow problem," " -- a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. Who can build the tallest tower with these ingredients? And why does a surprising group always beat the average?"

The marshmallow problem is explained in the video accompanying the link. As a mathematician, I couldn't resist seeing not only whether I could build a reasonably sturdy tall tower of dry spaghetti, but whether I could build one entirely based upon the three Platonic solids having triangular faces. Would that support a marshmallow?

Yes. The picture, taken just before a tragic accident involving the tower and a coworker sitting upon it, proves it. That's Tara Moss herself in the background.

No comments: