Day 124: Out on the Challenge Course

Monday, 27 February 2017

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Post-challenge, these students found balance on the Whale Watch.

We visited our school’s on-campus challenge course for our current project, Physics of the Challenge Course. On the walk out there, I divided my students into groups of approximately three and assigned them to one of these challenge elements for the duration of the project:

When we arrived on site, the students got an introduction to the course and ate a picnic lunch kindly provided by our dining hall.

Each group got to experience their element, had time to think about how accessible the course is to those in wheelchairs, and to learn about the difference between perceived risk and actual risk. We encouraged the taking of pictures and video of their teams working the element for use in the project.

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These kids are puzzling out how they’ll solve the challenge.

Mixing experiential education and a traditional course  has been quite the challenge. Most folks associate experiential ed with outdoors ed programs such as Outward Bound but the learning cycle totally works for a classroom setting. The key is allowing time for student reflection. In fact, I’d argue that the reflection is more important than the experience itself.

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