Using Creativity to Solve Problems

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Rocky Point Middle School eighth-grade students in Robert Ciaccio’s Technology Solutions class put their creativity to the test during their final unit of study by devising several new inventions.

Throughout the 20-week program, the students studied seven different problems and worked creatively to develop solutions to overcome those obstacles. Initially they worked to build structures to support weights, then moved on to competing in a car race and brainstorming ways to have a car travel up an angled track during a unit on energy.

During the final unit, students had the chance to identify a problem and work in small groups to create solutions. Using a multistep process, one similar to the scientific method, the students brainstormed ideas, making note of various designs and steps needed to make them in their classroom notebooks. Ultimately, the students used the various technology tools in the classroom to create prototypes of their solutions. 

Inspired by the topic of school security, one team created a mechanism to further secure locked doors. The device would prevent locked door handles from moving during a lockout and would be attached to the molding in a doorframe. Looking to help individuals stay warm in the colder months, another group invented heatable gloves using pouches of rice that would warm in the microwave. Another group invented a light-up purse, which was designed to help individuals locate items easily in the dark or a poorly lit area. Based on a recent heartbreak suffered by a local family, a team conceptualized an electrical dog door that would be activated and unlocked in the case of an emergency, such as a fire in the house. 

In addition to designing solutions to global problems, students were afforded the chance to create intricate puzzles to demonstrate their proficiency using the tools in the classroom.