Plano

Teachers Design Multi-Week Olympic Curriculum to Spark Student Creativity

From Physics to History it all was taught with an Olympic theme

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Teachers at St. Mark Catholic School in Plano devoted several days of class time to the Olympics, using a creative curriculum to keep students engaged in subjects that can sometimes be difficult.

"They had to create a bobsled run and a bobsled," said Cathy Pantuso, Science teacher, "It had to be three meters long and had to have three curves."

Pantuso let the kids play with solo cups, tape and hot glue guns with an ulterior motive. 

"We bring in our velocity, math, acceleration, and friction and gravity," said Pantuso.

Their physics lessons proved valuable.

"We want to get the best velocity without making it fly out of the track and also get it so stay up and all that combined together is really difficult to do," said Mason Hoak.

He and his team were doing the math, getting everything to precise perfection. They had one of the best-looking bobsleds.

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Ethan, Esther, and Courtney tried a different approach.

"Everyone was doubting us in the beginning but we got it," said student Courtney Osong who confessed her team's project looked messy.

In the end, it worked and even more importantly they knew the science of why! 

The Olympic curriculum wasn't just in science class though.

Classes across St. Mark's adopted an Olympic theme.

Diyah Cham, student, spent her English class in an escape room. She had to use her literary and problem-solving skills to track down a lost Olympic torch.

"This is much more effective than making students write a five-paragraph essay on the Olympics because then most kids will do it because you have to do it but when you do an escape room it makes it fun and it usually sticks more," said Cham.

The school also brought in North Texas natives who were former Olympians to speak about the hard work that goes into the competition and how it helped them not just in the Olympics but in life.

Gold medals were earned in these classrooms for the student's success and the teachers' creativity to put it to the test. 

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