Thinking outside the textbook

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Education in school at any level can be more than just knowing how to read a book, a map or math equation. Using creativity, critical thinking and teamwork can aid students in solving problems not just in the classroom, but also more importantly later in life.

Teams of students from Capron, Meherrin and Riverdale elementary schools and also Southampton Middle School demonstrated the aforementioned qualities at the Odyssey of the Mind competition last month on the Peninsula.

One team from Riverdale used a pre-chosen challenge, “It’s How You Look at It,” and had to write and perform a skit with two different characters demonstrating behavior normal to them, but odd to others. Those students obviously showed they had a little something extra and won first place in their division.

That group will show why it earned the honor by repeating the performance before another panel of judges at a statewide showing in northern Virginia this Saturday.

Go Cardinals!

Speaking of champions, we’re also reminded of the robotics team from Franklin High School that won the FIRST Robotics Championship regional competition in Richmond in March. Later this month, the team will compete for the world championship in St. Louis, Mo.

In both examples, the students learned and demonstrated how far the foundation of academics can serve them in such creative endeavors. There’s still a lot to be said for focusing in the classroom, doing homework and studying.

We encourage all students to seek out opportunities to put their learning to use today and tomorrow.