Taskmaster

It's official, Taskmaster is a hit.


Taskmaster consists of an extremely vague open-ended prompt and a deadline. The tasks are designed in a way that there is continual room for improvement. These tasks can't be "completed". If you think outside the box enough, you'll eventually come up with a better solution.


Today's first task was this: Make the most impressive throw you can of one thing into another thing. You have 15 minutes. On the word go, the mad dash began to find something to throw and beanbags were the item of choice. They then grabbed a chair with a hole in the back, set it 5 feet away and started letting the beanbags fly. After several attempts one Eagle got one through! Then another hit one from further out! They all stopped and looked at me to see if it was impressive enough. I told them to read the task again.


"It has to go INTO something, we are going THROUGH something!"


They grabbed a trash can and looked for an impressive spot to try and make a long distance shot INTO the bin.

As they hit shots, they would scoot back over and over again, because what is more impressive than a shot from 10 feet? A shot from 11 feet! One Eagle started getting bored of the trash can and started flinging his beanbag elsewhere. He ended up with the best shot of the lot.


I give you the most impressive shot of one thing into another: a beanbag into the kitchen table from 15 feet out. I watched it and I still don't know how he got it to work! Ha!

Even though they are performing nonsensical tasks that can be silly and seemingly don't have a deeper purpose beyond themselves, the real learning comes from the process itself. Every task they do, they start with the most obvious convenient answer, then they are challenged to do better. They must think creatively, be resourceful, decide if it is better to work as a team or go solo for each task, communicate their ideas, and assess what is working and what isn't and make changes based on the feedback. After each task we do a Socratic debrief and each person gets to share their triumphs, frustrations, failures, and thoughts about everything that just went on.


Now it's time to build the tallest structure they can... using golfballs.

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