Students at the Stephens College Children’s School participated in an on-campus version of Destination Imagination, a program that challenges young people to complete STEM projects that also incorporate the arts.
Four teams spent weeks working through their projects before executing them in front of an audience in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall on Friday. While the event was not a competition, Mark Brunner, Stephens’ IT director, and Philip Coleman, husband of President Dianne Lynch, scored and judged each challenge.
Two groups opted to participate in a “theory tale” challenge and created fairy tales to solve hypothetical problems. One group, named PG-13, created a play about a phobia with functional artwork, choreographed dances and original songs. A second group also wrote a play to figure out how a group of scientists would “undo” the damage they did when they created an evil monster.
Another group, Horse People, opted to participate in an improv challenge. They researched various types of street art before receiving a random situation to act out on the fly during the public event.
And The Eagles completed a challenge in which they built a structure that could withstand 10 pounds and be taken apart without collapsing.
“Students learned to execute real-world scenarios,” said Lindsey Clifton, an elementary teacher. “They learned collaboration, teamwork, problem solving and time management.”
There were times students didn’t think they were going to get through the exercises, Clifton said.
“These challenges create feelings of chaos,” she said. “But students were able to see them through. If teachers believe students can make their own choices and take the lead, then it’s possible.”
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