Dean of Admission's Blog
Post#5 A great way to spend a Friday night
Two weekends ago, George Baxter, our design technology teacher offered boarding students the opportunity to “get medieval.” Mr. Baxter opened up the Makers’ Space Workshop for 3 hours on Friday night and gave students the tools and materials they needed to design and build their very own trebuchets. The students were given the freedom to come up with their own designs and the support to bring their ideas to fruition.
While many teenagers were spending their Friday night online or at the shopping mall, these students were taking advantage of the opportunity to be creative—to develop an idea and to make it happen with their own hands. With a bit of guidance along the way, students got to try on ideas, change their minds, take a different path, and arrive at a final product that they have developed themselves—all without the judgment of a grade or the anxiety of a test. Just for the fun of it.
The experience was both playful and serious as the students worked to solve their design problems or look for simpler alternatives to the complex ideas they started with.
Few things are more satisfying than creating something on our own. How many of us know how to wield a hammer or a drill with confidence? How many of us can show something that we have built ourselves rather than paying someone else to do it for us? The students had a great sense of accomplishment and pride in their final products, and it’s my hope that this confidence will carry over into other areas of their lives.
The more students have the chance to explore what they can do, the greater the possibilities of what they can accomplish in their lives. Building these trebuchets is just one small way to help students see how capable they are when given the time and space to explore, create, and learn.
What a great way for teenagers to spend a Friday night!
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