This exercise helps to explain some of the origins of how easily humans created social constructs, how those are reinforced, and what effects they have on groups and individuals. It shows a surprisingly rapid change in behavior that students show when given special privileges, even though they seemed to understand beforehand that some people in society are not treated equally.
This teacher is a seriously great facilitator for this project. She was so good at choosing examples to reinforce stereotypes between the groups, such as the amount of time they could make it through activities or examples of good or bad behavior on behalf of either group. This demonstrates the power of stereotypes to lead to bias. Furthermore, it demonstrates how stereotypes can lead to internalized beliefs about one's own capabilities. Those in the disadvantaged groups actually began to accept that they were less smart than the other, which in turn affected their performance. It makes me think that the reverse happens, for example, with those who attend ivy league schools. Rather than providing a superior education, perhaps these schools see more success simply because they empower those who attend with an identity (and connections) that gives them extra confidence in their intellectual abilities.