Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

March 28, 2005

L-Creativity: Top 10 Creative Rules of Thumb

Filed under: education — texased @ 2:53 pm
  1. The best way to get great ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.
  2. Create ideas that are 15 minutes ahead of their time…not light years ahead.
  3. Always look for a second right answer.
  4. If at first you don’t succeed, take a break.
  5. Write down your ideas before you forget them.
  6. If everyone says you are wrong, you’re one step ahead. If everyone laughs at you, you’re two steps ahead.
  7. The answer to your problem “pre-exists.” You need to ask the right question to reveal the answer.
  8. When you ask a dumb question, you get a smart answer.
  9. Never solve a problem from its original perspective.
  10. Visualize your problem as solved before solving it.”

Charles Chic Thompson author of What a Great Idea!

Mixed: Toxic Swamp

Filed under: education — texased @ 2:19 pm
Toxic Swamp

Judges Version
Problem Source: Spirit of Chicago
http://texasom.blogspot.com/

This is a hands-on problem. You have one minute to determine which team members will solve the problem.

JUDGE READS TO TEAM (after participants are determined):

You will have 7 minutes to complete this problem. You may talk or ask questions at any time; however, time continues. At the end of 7 minutes, you will be scored.

In front of you is a toxic swamp that you must cross. Touching the swamp results in immediate death. Fortunately, you have a pair of “invisible magic shoes” that will protect you from the swamp. Your problem is to cross the swamp using the pair of “invisible magic shoes.” The following rules apply:

  • There is only one pair of shoes.
  • Both shoes may be worn by only one person at a time.
  • A person may only wear the shoes for one trip in one direction across the Toxic Swamp.
  • The Magic Shoes may not be “Tossed” across the Toxic Swamp to another team member.

Score will be as follows:

  • 10 points for each person who crosses the swamp
  • 1-25 points for team work

Information for the Judges
Place two strips of tape (3 feet long each) twenty feet apart. Team members must start off behind one of the strips of tape. Only the person with the magic shoes may be in the area between the tape.

Option: the entire team does not have to be behind the same line; they can split up and have members start from both lines.

Scoring Grid

Item Quantity Value Total
Number of people who cross the swamp 10
Team Work 1 – 25

March 22, 2005

L-Coaching: Maine’s Adventure in Creativity

Filed under: education — texased @ 11:20 am

This the state website for Odyssey of the Mind in Maine and has lots of information. If you need an explanation of parental roles and outside assistance, start with their “PSSST” message to parents and guardians. They have formatted the page to make it easy to print and it’s well worth the ink. The site also has a coordinators and coaches section that provides some very useful tips on Brainstorming, How to Ask Questions, Style, Timing, Coaches Do’s and Don’ts and they’re working on more. If this site doesn’t answer your new coaches’ questions, it will certainly point in the right direction.

March 6, 2005

L-Coaching: Robert Alan Black’s Creativity Challenges

Filed under: education — texased @ 8:29 pm

Teaching creativity is tough. There are those who argue that it can’t be done and those who participate in Odyssey of the Mind. Although, I must admit, at only one week away from competition I’m leaning toward the former. But when I do think creativity can be taught (usually around September), I always visit this site www.cre8ng.com. Robert Black has developed a list of Creativity Challenges. There are 52 for each year from 1997 to 2003. The challenges are intended for adults but most if not all can be easily adapted for kids. Many can also be used for spontaneous practice. Some of them have related activities for the entire work week. The site is a nice reminder that some people actually make a living on teaching creativity.

March 1, 2005

HO: Time Anew

Filed under: education — texased @ 11:11 am
Time Anew


Judges Version
Problem Source: Michelle Kretzschmar
http://texasom.blogspot.com/

This is a hands-on problem. You have one minute to determine which team members will solve the problem.

JUDGE READS TO TEAM (after participants are determined):

You will have 7 minutes to complete this problem. You may talk or ask questions at any time; however, time continues. At the end of 7 minutes, you will have one minute to present your solution.

Today we use a time system based on the earth’s rotation. There are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hours, 60 seconds in minute. Your Problem is: to build a new time keeping device. You must demonstrate how it would work and a describe it’s system of units of measurements. You will be given materials to be used in your solution. No other materials may be used.

Score will be as follows:

  • 1-20 points for creativity of the device
  • 1-20 points for creativity of the system of units and explanation.
  • 1-20 points for team work
  • 1 point for each item used

Materials and Setup
Give each team the following materials.

  • 5 rubber bands
  • 4 cups
  • 10 paper clips
  • Tape/mailing labels
  • 12 inches of string
  • 4 pipe cleaners
  • 1 clothespin
  • 1 plastic spoon
  • 1 marker
  • 1 piece of paper
  • 1 golf ball

Scoring Grid

Item Quantity Value Total
Creativity of the device 1 – 20
Creativity of the system of units and explanation 1 – 20
Team Work 1 – 20
Each item used 1

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