Instruction Guide: ESR Team Building / Ice Breaker

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Pair Programming

Have students watch this Pair Programming video from

Pair Programming Video

Discuss the Do's and Don'ts at the end of the video.

Extend the Pair idea to cover Robotics hardware & software:

  • One student is the hardware engineer - they touch the robot
  • One student is the software engineer - they touch the computer
  • We switch roles every few minutes.

Team Building with Pairs - LEGO Listen

Provide two sets of these parts in separate bags


  1. Have students sit back-to-back, each with a bags of identical parts
  2. While both students are sitting SILENTLY, have student A build something out of some (elementary) or all (middle school) of the parts in their bag in 60 seconds while student B sits quietly, opening their bag, but not building anything or peeking at student A.
  3. Begin a 4 minute timer and:
    > Have student A describe how to assemble their creation one step at a time to student B
    > Student B must remain COMPLETELY SILENT and NOT TOUCH student A during the build
  4. Once time is up, have students compare their builds and decide if the builds are Exact, Close, or Not Close.
  5. Reverse roles and try again scoring for Exact, Close or Not Close.
  6. After the second build, have students discuss the challenges they are facing and what strategies might help then get to Exact.
  7. Share this pdf to learn the names of the parts in the LEGO Listen bag

LEGO Listen Part Names

  1. Try again LEGO Listen again, this time using part names and any other strategies your squad discussed
  2. Discus final results:
    1. Did following verbal instructions get easier with practice?
    2. Did giving verbal instructions get easier with practice?
    3. Did a common language help?
    4. What else did you learn?

Squad Team Building

The Robot Dance Off in Unit 2 may be used as a squad-level Team Building challenge, however, if time permits you may choose one of the Team Building Activities under the ALL POSTS section of this webpage for the entire class:

Team Building Activities - see "All Posts"