The ability to problem solve is a life skill that many of us employ in varied situations in our daily life. Many schools endeavor to provide students with opportunities to develop this skill. Red Cliffs East Primary School and Red Cliffs Secondary College are working together on an Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM - a federal Government initiative) project called Learning Worth Bottling. The project is providing learning experiences for middle years (Years 5-8) students that require them to draw on their mathematical knowledge and understandings, to solve problems that occur in the local fruit and wine industry. The location for the problem solving and learning is Deakin Estate Winery. This article will provide an outline of the project and what has been achieved so far.
The focus of the lesson was ordinal number. The students were rotated through three activities in a team teaching environment. These activities were: the construction of towers with building blocks, toy cars in a garage and racing plastic animals. The activity involving the racing of the plastic animals gave an interesting result that sparked discussion between the staff. The following article presents the activity, what happened and a reflection of why we thought this result occurred.