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How outside the box thinking helps kids become more confident and successfulOutside the box thinking. It’s a popular catch phrase. But, what does it mean for students?

Thinking out of the box literally means shifting a person’s frame of reference. In simple terms, it means to think differently, unconventionally, or from an entirely new perspective.

The result of learning to think beyond the established, conventional viewpoint results in truly inventive solutions to all types of problems. And, from an educational perspective, when students learn to think innovatively from a young age, their future is limitless.

Of course, learning to think outside the box should never become a chore or be relegated to a child’s “To Do List.”

In Delaware, two wonderful organizations are experts in fostering out of the box thinking within that fun atmosphere. FIRST Robotics and Odyssey of the Mind combine out of the box thinking skills, teamwork and spirited competition to produce talented, creative and forward-thinking kids.

The FIRST Organization

The FIRST Organization was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway Personal Transporter, just one of his many ground-breaking inventions. In creating FIRST, Kamen hoped to inspire young people by engaging them in programs that build science, engineering and technology skills — and of course, inspire innovation.

In the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), high school students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, plus, build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks in a thrilling competition!

For teens interested in exploring more about the world of science and engineering, FIRST provides a unique opportunity to apply their creativity to solve real problems. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Odyssey of the Mind

Another example of an organization that gets kids thinking creatively is Odyssey of the Mind, co-founded by Dr. C. Samuel Micklus and Dr. Theodore Gourley.  In 1978 the pair created Odyssey, a unique program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for kindergarten through college-age students.

Odyssey allows kids to let their creativity run wild as they work in teams to solve problems running the gamut — from building mechanical devices to presenting a dramatic interpretation of literary classics.

In the Odyssey program, “Coaches” are simply volunteers who keep the kids on track with the specific tasks that need to be completed, handle scheduling and provide a meeting space.  The kids themselves are the ones who brainstorm ideas, create scripts, props, and devices, and ultimately produce a solution to their assigned problem. Any outside influence from the Coaches or other adults is strictly forbidden. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Plus, here are a few addition resources offering suggestions on how to teach children thinking skills:

Here’s to thinking outside the box!

About Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc.

Since 1985, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics has been the undisputed leader in 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania for over 60 subjects for children and adults at all levels and of all abilities. The company also offers 1-on-1 SAT/ACT/Praxis Prep, as well as translating and interpreting in over 20 languages, homebound services, RTI support, and psycho-educational testing.  For more information, please contact Back to Basics at 302-594-0754.

In addition, Back to Basics operates a unique Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware. For more information about Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 private school, please call us at 302-594-0685.

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