Escape from Mars!™ | Collaborative Teamwork Training Activity

**FOR USE IN VIRTUAL TRAINING SESSIONS** A brand new and exciting training activity for virtual training to get teams talking, engaging and cooperating. *This activity is supplied digitally.*

Learning Objectives

  • to demonstrate the importance of inter-team collaboration
  • to formulate and implement a plan
  • to test a range of problem-solving skills
  • to show the need for good communication skills
  • to manage a tight time schedule
  • to see the bigger picture
  • to practise remote teamworking

Five-Year Repeat Use Licence

This Northgate training activity comes with a five-year licence for repeat use with up to 24 participants per training session within the licence-holding organisation. Please ask for a discount on multiple licences to use with larger groups. Also includes access to the Northgate Trainerhub (see below for details).

  • Participants

    12-24 (in 4 teams of 3-6 per team)

  • Timing

    1 hour + debrief

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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Delivery charges apply per order (not per item).
Delivery charges do not apply to digital products.

Access for digital products is via the Northgate Trainerhub (we will set you up with hub access within 24 (working) hours of your order & our working hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm).

  • UK delivery

    (normally next working day)


  • Europe delivery

    (1-2 working days)


  • World delivery

    (1-5 working days)



We hope you that will be delighted with your purchase from Northgate Training. However, if you are unhappy for any reason, we operate a no-quibble returns policy on unused goods. Products should be returned within 30 days. The product(s) needs to be in perfect condition and in its undamaged, original packaging. We cannot refund or exchange anything that has been used. Return postage, packing insurance and direct costs cannot be refunded. Please keep proof of postage to facilitate claims should goods be lost in transit.


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The Activity

Having completed a Mars mission, teams must locate their Escape Pod which, in 60 minutes time, will return them to the Mother Ship. But first, they must sort out a few issues:

  • locate the Escape Pod
  • work out the correct entry code
  • complete 10 tasks
  • 'assemble' a transponder

With a Mars chart and segments of information to piece together, teams must first pinpoint the Escape Pod. To gain entry they need to find a Key Code. They must also 'construct' a four-part transponder (each team has details of one part) and complete 10 tasks.

To add to pressure, some tasks require information from other teams. In the heat of the moment, are teams willing to share data and, if so, can they do it quickly and accurately, so that all teams are in with a chance to escape? One wrong bit of data could spell disaster, as will exceeding the deadline. Will teams perform as competitive rivals and focus on their own team’s success or can they see the bigger picture?

A great activity to bring out the value of collaboration in an organisation. How well do participants work as individual teams? How ready are they to join forces with other teams: ‘one for all and all for one’?

A fun exploration of values, levels of trust and attitudes, not least to their fellow workers. Lots to discuss!

Trainer's Role

  • Introduce the activity in plenary session using the PowerPoint (optional). Explain each team will pick a leader and that teams should divide the activity into three phases: Read, Plan, Implement. Then send the four teams to their separate breakout rooms.
  • Send out the Team Files and allow ten minutes for the READ phase.
  • Teams then spend ten minutes, as a team, discussing the task, setting objectives and deciding how to go about the task. This is the PLAN stage.
  • At the 20 minute point, they start on the task itself. The leader should be evident, team members should all be actively engaged and a sense of motivation and organisation should prevail. Nominating a communicator, to talk with other teams, is essential, as is someone to keep an eye on the deadline. This is the IMPLEMENTATION phase.
  • Be ready for teams (as one big group, part group, or an individual team) to contact you to check their completed task. Have they found the Escape Pod, got the Entry Code and solved the 10 tasks? Are they blasting off alone or waiting for other teams? Confirm success - or otherwise!
  • At the 60 minute deadline, stop the activity. There is no longer a chance to escape. Send the Team Review Form to each team (still in their breakout rooms) and allow time to reflect on their performance, ready for the Debrief.
  • Conduct a Debrief in plenary using the guidance in the Trainer's Notes and the PowerPoint (which contains the answers, explanations and key learning points).

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes (PDF file)
  • PowerPoint (for introduction & debrief) (PPT file)
  • Team File (PDF file) specific for each team and including:
    • Your Brief
    • Mars Map
    • 10 Tasks
    • Transponder Part (one of four essential pieces)
  • Team Answer Form (PDF file)
  • Team Review Form (PDF file)

This activity is supplied digitally via the Northgate Trainerhub. No delivery charges apply.

Northgate Trainerhub

Benefits of the online Northgate Trainerhub include:

  • Easy-to-access resource library which stores all the digital files for the activity in one place
  • Immediate access to upgrades made to the activity over the five-year licence term
  • Access to an online Trainer Forum where you can post questions, share experiences & network with other Trainers
  • Access to free activities and icebreakers
  • Option to send information to team leaders digitally via the hub using Team Access Codes
  • Unlimited Trainer logins for all Trainers based at the licence-holding site

Northgate Activities make an excellent and good value part of a wider development programme. They are fun and highly effective. From a facilitator's point of view they are easy to learn, adapt and deliver.

Jonathan Aylwin, C2C Program Manager (Global Industrial), TE Connectivity

My colleagues and I have been using Northgate activities for 25 years for team-based learning and we have always been impressed by the quality of the material and the insights the students get from taking part in these activities.

Paul Roberts, Principal Fellow for Quality & Reliability, WMG, University of Warwick

Your training products have enhanced my training sessions! Using your training games brings great learning points in an interactive and fun environment. I facilitate a variety of topics across the leadership spectrum and you always have a training game that meets the training goals and time constraints.

Songya Kesler, Leadership Consultant & Coach,

Northgate products are just as useful in a virtual world!

Ian Moreton-Thickett, Freelance L&D Consultant, The Development Catalyst

I have used 'Escape from Mars!' in virtual classrooms and as a team development activity, it was phenomenal and really ticks all the boxes!

Gary Shewan, Learning & Development Consultant, Legal & General

'Escape from Mars!' went very well and the exercise ran itself! Although they didn’t escape it was very enjoyable and highlighted a number of useful points, one of which was the need for structured collaboration. All in all a great success!

Clive Bradley, MD, The Leadership Group Ltd

I used 'Escape from Mars!' virtually and it worked great. Given the session was about collaboration, their mindset was in that spirit and they collaborated very well, some great lessons for their day job!

Jean Vanhoegaerden, Professor of Practice, Globcon

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