Rowan Miller, 10, of Selinsgrove, thinks about where to move his chess piece during Saturday’s Brainfest 2009 at the Selinsgrove Intermediate School.

Brainfest challenges problem-solving skills
By Wayne Laepple
The Daily Item

SELINSGROVE — Seanan Miller, 8, dropped pennies one or two at a time into a boat, which he shaped out of aluminum foil, floating in a dishpan of water.

The second-grader dropped the pennies into the boat, trying to keep it on an even keel. The goal was to place 50 pennies in the boat, but Miller surpassed that easily. He dropped more and more pennies into the boat, until, without warning, it suddenly filled with water and sank.

He wasn’t upset that his boat sank. Rather, he eagerly counted the pennies, with a bit of help, until he reached the total of 362.

He rushed around the room at Selinsgrove Intermediate School Saturday afternoon until he finally spotted Lynn Fiedler, his teacher, so he could tell her how he did.

Seanan was taking part in the annual Brainfest at the school Saturday afternoon, an opportunity, Fiedler said, for students in enrichment classes to try their hands at an array of games and activities.

“It’s all geared toward problem-solving with critical thinking,” said Fiedler, the elementary and intermediate school enrichment teacher. “They can discover and create, using what they learned in class.”

Fiedler said she’s tried to provide a different set of activities each year, and she recruits former students to help out at each of the seven activity stations in the cafeteria, large group instruction room and gymnasium.

“I couldn’t do this without the help of former students, other teachers and parents,” she said.

Here is the full story.

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