Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove Luther J. Schilling William E. Young William J. Butler
Hadley Middle Homer Jr. High
Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager
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Young School students use their critical and innovative thinking skills to build a catapult from tongue depressors, plastic spoons and rubber bands.
For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2016
Students catapult into critical thinking
An all-school challenge put critical thinking skills to the test recently at Young School.
Students were given a variety of materials, such as tongue depressors, plastic spoons and rubber bands, to work with and fashion into a catapult.
They worked in pairs, brainstorming ideas and working together to create something that would launch small items. Afterward, they took turns seeing how far their contraptions could send items flying.
The activity was tied to the school’s goal of fostering critical thinking skills and innovative thinking skills — two essential components to preparing Future Ready Students.
Young School students see how far their catapults can launch items.
“We hope that by incorporating these educational activities, students will come to understand that although learning is challenging, it can also be fun,” said Principal Michael Szopinski.
“We want them to see that success comes from persistence,” he added.
For inspiration, students gathered for an outdoor assembly the day before their big experiment and watched as Young School parent and his son (who attends Young) launched watermelons from a catapult that they designed and built.
Students cheered as each watermelon sailed through the air and landed with a splat.
A Young School parent and his son inspire students to tap into their critical and innovative thinking skills by showing them a catapult that they designed and built.
Many went home thinking about how they could top it the next day with their own catapult.
The catapult experiment was the second all-school challenge faced by Young School students this year.
In December, students were given toothpicks and a scoop of clay to build a structure that would support two small rocks. The activity rocks had to be at least three inches (the length of the toothpick) off the ground.
“Sometimes, you’re not going to achieve your goal on the first try,” Szopinski told students before each challenge. “Learning takes a lot of tries.”
Both activities were tied to the school’s goal of fostering critical thinking skills and innovative thinking skills — two essential components to preparing Future Ready Students.
“We want students to realize that learning is challenging and takes many attempts for success,” said Szopinski. “We encourage students to keep persisting.”