Rocket: A Simulation on Intercultural Teamwork (Lessons from the International Space Station Program) is an interactive simulation that helps participants develop and hone important intercultural skills. This remarkable tool is a fun and interactive way to train people for working in diverse environments. It is based on qualitative interviews conducted at NASA's Johnson Space Center with astronauts, flight directors, flight controllers, engineers and trainers from the American, Russian, Japanese and European Space Agencies.
Rocket mimics the real-life interactions and politics of the International Space Station Program and requires simulation participants to work together to build a model rocket. The simulation is designed for use with groups from 13-25 participants, but it can be modified for use with groups as small as four or as large as 30. Participants are divided into four groups (Americans, Russians, Japanese and Europeans) and each given a set of rules that they must follow when interacting with each other. The rules include culture specific information as well as political and economic objectives. Each group, or space agency, is given a specific rocket part to build and asked to work with the other agencies in assembling the rocket. After building the rocket a debrief session occurs where participates are able to process their learning.
Part 1 The Simulation
Immediate Crisis Situation
General Objectives for Participants
Specific Objectives by Specialization
Materials Needed for Two-Hour Simulation
Materials Needed for One-Hour Simulation
Explanation of Rule Sheets
Explanation of Roles and Role Cards
Rule Sheets and Role Cards
Russian (RSA) Agency Role Cards
Japanese (JAXA) Agency Role Cards
European (ESA) Agency Role Cards
American (NASA) Agency Role Cards
Part 2 Supplemental Reading—Misunderstandings
Instructions for Use
Misunderstandings in the International Space Station Program
Dr. Jessica Hirshorn currently teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University. She holds a doctorate in Educational Foundations from the University of Houston and a Master_s degree in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training. She previously trained teachers to work with diverse student populations and worked as a Coordinator of International Student Services. Jessica_s international experience includes serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as studying abroad in China, India and Israel.
”A must-have for anyone involved in intercultural skills development.”—Geremie Sawadago, Senior Human Resource Officer, The World Bank Organization
”A valuable and engaging teaching tool that introduces basic concepts of intercultural communication and conflict resolution while generating a significant amount of creativity and enthusiasm among participants.”—Jonathan Gordon, PhD, Director of Assessment, Georgia Institute of Technology