< Back to Classroom - Designing Instruction

Space Ship

Space Ship

Props/Prep: Yes
Time: 20-30 min
Audience: Any (teams)
Physical: No

Activity: This activity is focused on participant discussion, prioritizing, and consensus. During this activity, groups of participants must work collaboratively and make concessions in order to reach success. This is a discussion based activity. You must provide each participant with the spaceship scenario.   

Time requirements: 20-30 minutes depending on if the results are taken up with the entire group of participants or just discussed within individual groups. 

Material Needed: 1 copy of the space ship scenario for each participant (see spaceship scenario sheet)


Phase 1:

  • Divide the class into groups of 3-5.
  • Give each group member a spaceship scenario.
  • Instruct group members to silently read their spaceship scenario.
  • Once everyone has read the scenario, instruct your groups to begin discussion.
  • Give the groups some time, and then warn them that time is almost up.
  • Give the groups a chance to discuss their final choices.
  • Bring the entire group of participants back together, and have each group present their priority group of 7 to the rest of the class. Discuss the differences.

Phase 2:

  • Debrief the decision making process with the group. 
  • Ask them what skills were necessary to use in order to formulate their spaceship group of 7.
  • Have them discuss how they made decisions and what types of compromises were made.

Phase 3:

  • Discuss the process used in this activity and its application to the real world and specific professions. 

Function in the class: This activity is best used to demonstrate cooperation, collaboration, discussion, prioritizing, and consensus building. It is also a great way to discover less than desirable traits used to try and persuade people to change their minds. It is a great way to start developing skills to work effectively in groups. 


The object of this game is to select seven people to go into a spaceship to escape total destruction of planet earth. You have just been alerted that a giant meteor is on a collision course with earth and will smash it into bits in a few hours. It is very likely that this event will end human life as we know it. The space ship has the capacity to set up life on a new planet. Eleven people have been chosen by a lottery to go on board the space ship, however, there has been a grave error made, and now it turns out there is only room for seven people. Your group must decide which seven people will go to start life on the new planet. 

Remember, only seven people can fit on the spaceship. You must have an agreement of the entire group before a selection can be made.

  • You must listen while others talk
  • You must not interrupt others
  • You may not name call or say derogatory remarks about other’s thoughts
  • You must treat others with respect at all times
  • You must reach consensus

11 People for 7 spots on the space ship:

  1. A 30 year old male symphony orchestra violin player
  2. A 67 year old male minister
  3. A 23 year old engineer and his 21 year old wife (they refuse to be separated)
  4. A 40 year old policeman who refuses to give up his gun
  5. A male student of your own age from your school
  6. A 35 year old male high school dropout, recently arrested for armed robbery
  7. A 32 year old female Grade 6 teacher
  8. A 40 year old female medical doctor
  9. A 50 year old female artist and sculptor
  10. A 25 year old male poet
  11. A 15 month old female toddler


7 People who will ride the spaceship!  
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.
6. 6.
7. 7.