Summer School Involves Hands-On Learning, Problem-Solving Skills

By:  Krystal Smith, 8th Grade Contributing Writer

This year Tim Motley, 7th grade math instructor, is teaching two classes during summer school. Motley has been teaching the Houston class for several years and still is. He is also teaching Gleaming the Cube for all grades this summer.

In the Houston class, students learn to build rockets and airplanes, and they have fun flying them. Some people have a favorite activity in this class, such as the pencil rockets and paper airplanes. Students spend most of their time making the rockets and airplanes and testing them out. In the Gleaming the Cube class, they learn the steps to solving the Rubik’s cube. Summer school student David Knight said, “It makes you use your brain.”

Motley also has personal experience in these areas. He said, “I like to build things, and I have taught physics in the past.” There are a few reasons he chose to teach Gleaming the Cube this year. “I can solve a Rubik’s cube, so I thought it would be fun to teach kids how to solve them,” Motley explained.

Motley chose to open his classes up to all grade levels because if he were to teach specific grades there may not be as many students. He also said, “Making rockets and solving a cube are not grade-specific. There are young kids that can make good rockets, and young kids can solve the cube, too. If I had limited my classes to just a particular grade, I wouldn’t have had enough sign-ups to make this class.”

In these two classes, students can learn many skills, like how to problem-solve and memorize patterns easily. “Problem-solving skills, memorizing and perseverance are involved in the solutions,” Motley mentioned. These are everyday skills that can help students in their future education and lives.