Extended Thinking

For the past term or so teachers across the cluster have been in dialogue about a programme to extend gifted and talented students across all our schools.  We have the technology to easily connect these kids so why not use it?  Just getting them talking to each other would be wonderful in itself.

The Video Conference

The Video Conference

What we have decided to put together is outlined in more detail here, but it has a firm basis on keeping it simple for this year.  There is so much we could do that there is a danger of getting carried away.  We decided on three team based problem solving events each term, supported by the creation of online areas for the students to chat and discuss.

Schools that have entered students include: Cheviot Area School, Mackenzie College, Mt Hutt College, Darfield High School, Oxford Area School, Twizel Area School, Akaroa Area School, and Rangiora New Life School

The first event was held today and was a real success.  Although there were some organisational hiccups the students seemed to have a good day.  They were presented with two challenges.  The first was to send a coded written problem to teams at another school who then has to break the code.  The second challenge involved students creating a weighing machine out of fairly basics materials (card, newspaper etc.).  In the video conference students presented their solutions.

I was blown away by the level of thinking and the sheer excitement of the students who happily waved at each other throughout the afternoon video conference.

This wasn’t a formal competition, but Mt Hutt and Akaroa students excelled at the problem solving aspects.   Twizel students were the most well-organised and planned, while the boys at Cheviot would win the personality award.

Much has been learnt from the first event and we all look forward to the next one on the 26th of August.

Darfield's weighing machine

Darfield's weighing machine



  1. This looks so cool. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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