A teambuilding activity related to the air we breathe
Objective: From the materials provided, build a box with your team that will hold a cubic meter of air.
- Strips of poster board
- Meter stick
- Don’t give directions, just the goal (build a cubic meter)
- Work in groups of 3-4
- This activity needs a lot of space, especially if you are making several
- Do some preliminary work ahead of time, such as measuring the strips to be cut. (see below for directions for making a cubic meter box)
Supplemental Ideas for Teacher
- Make a 1 cm3 box (holds 1 mL) and a 1000 cm3 box (holds 1 liter) for comparison with the student’s cubic meter box
- Show the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology website. Show a local page with the current air quality conditions. Illustrate that air quality is measured in cubic meters (m3).
- Relate the size of the cubic meter box to the air we breathe.
- A normal breath is 500 cm3.
- One cubic meter is 2000 breaths.
- An average person breathes 10-14 times a minute.
- It would take 3 hours and 20 minutes to breathe a cubic meter of air.
- The amount of air breathed by the average person typically ranges from 20-30 m3 per day. However, with heavy work and exercise this can easily exceed 50 m3 per day.
Directions for Making a Cubic Meter Box
- Cut each sheet of poster board into seven strips. Each strip should be 4 inches x 22 inches. Cut a total of 24 strips.
- Fold each strip in half lengthwise. You may want to make the fold against a straight edge, such as a yard stick or meter stick, to get a good crease.
- Staple two strips together to equal a meter (39 1/3″) in length. Overlap the excess. This will make a stronger box. Do this for the remaining strips. You should have 12 one-meter pieces when you are done.
- Place four pieces on the floor in a square. Staple together the corners. Do the same fo another four pieces.
- Turn each square on its side. Staple on the remaining four pieces to make the rest of the cube.
- Reinforce with masking tape, if needed (this is also a good way to include more children, whether or not the tape is really needed).