Kenora Catholic students take part in Mystery Maker Challenge

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Creativity was abundant in elementary schools across Kenora Catholic on Friday as students took part in the Mystery Maker Challenge. 

"Today our teacher gave us a challenge where we had to make a toy for a dog. She gave us these bags and we could only use what we had in these bags to make the dog toy," said Grade 5 student at École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys, Addison Spak. 

The Mystery Maker Challenge gives children of different ages the opportunity to use their creativity. They are presented with a challenge that they must solve by physically building something out of only the materials they are given. The challenges were created by the KCDSB's Innovation and Creativity Coordinator, Megan Baker. 

"The Mystery Maker Challenge offers students an open-ended problem to solve with their hands. They are able to show their understanding and express themselves in a creative manner. It also brings students out of their silos and shows students how they can all interconnect. The challenges were designed in a way that made students think quickly while taking risks," said Baker. 

Grade 6 student at Pope John Paul II School, Ashton Nutley said he had a lot of fun creating his dog toy and explained what he'd put together. 

"I made a rattle toy. So what we used was a paper towel roll and I put tape at the bottom of it. Then I cut up straws into little pieces so when we put it in there and when the dog chews it, it will rattle and make a weird noise. We also taped the other side so it won't fall out," he said. 

Nash Spencer was also in Ashton's group and he spoke about what he made.

"I grabbed some fabric and wrapped it around a paper towel tube" he said. "Then I used a string to make it squishy and satisfying but also tuggable if a dog bites it and pulls it away. I just found a fabric and I saw it felt good on your hand when you squeezed it so I thought it was a good idea to use for the dog."

There were three challenges for three different age groups. Baker put together the challenges alongside Nathalie Michaluk, Kat Kerns, Charlotte Brown and Angela Boucha. 

Challenges:
1. FDK – You are going on a "Wonder Walk" in the forest to collect nature treasures but you forget to bring something to hold all your findings in. – Design the perfect container to hold all your nature treasures.

2. Grades 1-2 – You are pet sitting a goldfish, but the goldfish really misses his owner. – Design something to cheer him up.

3. Grades 3-6 – You have a deadline to create a dog toy that's so fantastic it's sure to sell out of stores in no time, but you have limited materials. – Make this awesome designer dog toy out of what you have.

Students will continue to use their inventions this week for Media Literacy Week. Baker said she encouraged teachers to follow up with the Mystery maker Challenge by asking students to create a poster or even commercial using the Green Screen for their inventions.  

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