Problem Solving Workshop by University of the Creative Arts (UCA)

In order to develop aspirations to progress to university, it is important that students are afforded as many opportunities as possible, to engage with universities and participate in the type of teaching and learning delivered by these institutions.

On Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd November, Holly Rogers, from the University of the Creative Arts (UCA), delivered the same problem solving workshop on these two dates, initially to Leigh UTC Year 10 Aspire students and then Year 12 Leigh Aspire.

The main objective of these sessions, was to support Leigh Aspire students in developing their creative thinking skills by finding solutions to challenging tasks.

The first task that each cohort was set within their respective session was the challenge of fitting a whole person through an A4 set of paper, with only a pair of scissors to help them. Below is a picture of Year 10 students diligently trying to decipher a solution to the task.

Although there were initial moans and groans from each year group that this is an impossible task.

Once they each take the time to creatively think about the task, ideas started to flow.

It wasn’t long, however, before students were on the right path and started constructing their solution to the task.

Below is a picture of two Year 12 students comparing their solution to the challenge set.

You can see a Year 10 student proudly showing and demonstrating his solution to the problem set. Of course, some students were able to come up with solution quicker than others.

Each cohort was set another equally as challenging task, but this time they had a build a structure using paper straws and rubber bands. The student that created the tallest, free-standing structure, won a UCA goodie-bag as a prize. There were a number of examples of stable and well constructed straw structures, as you can see in the picture to the left of a Year 12 student and below of Year 10 students.

Although there were initial moans and groans from each year group that this is an impossible task. However, the students with the tallest free-standing structure would be deemed the winner.

Therefore, the students that achieved the specifications of this task were Beth, in Year 12, whose structure was 2.88 metres tall. Also, Emmanuel, in Year 10, met the brief of this task, by constructing a straw structure that achieved a height of 2.33 metres.

Each student was absolutely delighted to nominated as the year group winner for their efforts. As a result, Holly Rogers, from UCA, presented them each with the prize of a UCA goodie-bag.

In Module 3, the next Leigh Aspire transformative experience that students will participate in, is a visit to Sussex University, for Year 10 students, and a Time Management workshop, for Year 12 students.