Challenge. Students at Edith Creek Primary School are testing their engineering knowledge and problem solving skills in racing to complete a marble maze.
Team Time provides an opportunity for students from prep to grade six to combine and collaborate to complete challenges.
“This came about after we gave them a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) challenge as part of our fun day on the last day of school in 2017,” says principal Erika Lees.
“We discovered that the kids had very little resilience or stamina when it came to this type of challenge, and so this year we decided to make it a focus.”
In teams of eight mixed with different ages and abilities, students must complete a set challenge while incorporating the school values of ‘Be Safe, Be Respectful, Do Your Best, Bounce Back and Be a Team’.
“We started the year with lots of team building and get-to-know-you challenges and have gradually moved into more STEAM based challenges,” says Mrs Lees.
“Each week we focus on our school values and talk about how these will be used in the challenge for that week. We have had to really emphasise the need to bounce back, and slowly we are starting to see children accept and almost expect, that their first attempt at a challenge might not be successful; that more trials, alterations to plans and designs, and different ideas and approaches might be necessary.”
This term, the focus is on creating a maze for a marble to travel through in no less than one minute.
First, students created an individual paper plate maze before taking their ideas and applying them to a big canvas.
Meeting each Thursday afternoon, the teams make alterations to the design, route and engineering of the vertical maze to slow or speed up the marble. Experimenting with texture, decline or incline of the maze walls and obstacles, students test and record details of each trial.
Students plan to have their mazes on display at the school’s winter market in August for community members to challenge themselves at.