Caution! Quickfires are Spreading!

This past summer, our fellowship spent nearly two weeks together to kick off the start of a new #MSUrbanSTEM adventure. They were soon introduced to a fun and energized activity called a Quickfire Challenge.  These challenges were usually led by instructor Candace Marcotte, who always brings a ton of energy to anything she does. A Quickfire Challenge introduces a challenging task designed around a specific teaching point.  It’s the time limit, passion, intensity and #MSUrbanSTEM zest that sets the tone during one of these challenges.

James Edstrom is a member of our 2015/2016 Urban Stem fellowship.  He embraced the idea of Quickfire Challenges and brought the excitement back to his own classroom.  He teaches mostly upperclassmen at Steuben Metropolitan Science Center in Chicago.  His students were already studying the concepts and problems involving river current and the effect wind has on the speed of airplanes.  He saw the perfect opportunity to light up a Quickfire Challenge!

The guidelines for the quickfire were:
Make up a word problem involving distance, rate, and time.
Represent it on a poster sheet.
Use the materials provided (Play-Doh, geometric shapes, sponge cubes)
Use as few words as possible (symbols)

The students were so engaged.  They worked diligently in a collaborative manner to complete the task and beat the clock. Edstrom says, “I really did keep the directions simple and the students just ran with it!”  In all of the excitement one of his students exclaimed, “Oh I love to play with Play Doh!”   Below are some examples of their work.