Global Cardboard Challenge: Thinking Outside the Box
This article first appeared in our print publication, KeyNotes. Print or download it here.Walk through The Joy School's welcoming doors on any day and you'll encounter smiles. If you happened to visit on Friday, October 20, 2017, you know that the typical joy was amplified by a giant cardboard arcade as The Joy School joined students in Cuba, Rwanda, the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka as participants in the Global Cardboard Challenge.
Fourteen pairs of students worked together to plan their arcade games, which they built out of 80% recyclable materials.
"Aside from the obvious benefits of working on a project like this, such as exercising fine motor skills and building simple machines," TJS Science Teacher Mo Christou explains, "participating in the Global Cardboard Challenge helps prepare our students to mainstream to traditional schools by developing 21st century skills."
Along the way, the teams used technology like OneNote and Word to organize their work. The Joy School emphasizes the use of technology to help students overcome their learning deficits. "You have to figure out what works and what doesn't, but it's not discouraging, just challenging," shared Will, a fifth grader who worked on the project.
"We are motivating kids to be creators, inventors and collaborators. It's crucial for children to be able to work in groups by the time they reach junior high. In this way, they get to have fun while learning how to work as a team." says Christou.
Will's project partner, Kate, echoed this sentiment. "At first, I thought it was going to be hard – and it still is, but it's actually fun!