What can you do with a raisin, 20 toothpicks, 5 paperclips, a block of wood, 8 mailing labels, a cube of clay, plastic straws, a Styrofoam cup, and some raw noodles? Build a catapult, of course!
Did you know that for hundreds of years pharmacies had an apothecary jar in their front window that they would fill as a signaling device? If the jar was filled a red fluid it signaled visitors to avoid the area due to quarantine; green fluid signaled that all was well. The jars were lit by candles so they could be seen from far away. What would you use to fill an apothecary jar and what would it signal?
These are just two of the spontaneous projects that students were assigned in Special Gifts Enrichment classes as part of the Odyssey of the Mind program. Projects like this provide students a fun way to work in teams while learning critical and creative thinking strategies on not-so-typical activities.