Raft building provides an interesting event that all can take part in irrespective of ability. Key skills of design, team -work, allocation and use of resources can be woven into a problem- based activity. Inter and intra group co-operation and innovation come together into what is a fun activity where the consequences of bad design and not pulling together can soon manifest itself.
Once on the water a stable raft can provide a platform from which tidal drift can be studied, the effect of the wind on floating structures, water depth and recording of wild life can take place. By having groups submit designs before building, discussion can focus on what and why certain decisions had been reached. Coupled with an end of session review, learning can be consolidated and enhanced.
Raft Building is an, ideal activity for large groups of adult and children alike, it requires creativity, initiative and teamwork, the activity focuses on group dynamics, communication skills and leadership. We present the group with the challenge of building a number of rafts out of limited resources. The rafts must be big enough and strong enough to carry the team through a series of races against each other. Each Team must work together on all stages from carrying their materials to the design, building and finally paddling of their rafts. When rafts are built, the group paddles their rafts around a set course. The race is finally over when all team members have completed the course and all rafts are completely disassembled and materials are placed neatly back where they were before we started. Barrels, planks, ropes and water are a recipe for a thorough soaking and great fun.