Problem Solving With the Student Pond Traverse

Episode 8: Martha Lavigne and Meagan McLaughlin join Phil and Anne Louise to discuss the Student Pond Traverse. Martha is a Health and P.E. teacher at Keene High School, while Meagan is a third-year student at the University of West Florida. Both are former participants of the activity. After the pair introduce themselves, Anne Louise gives a brief overview of the Traverse. In short, each team needs to find a way to get across the pond without falling in.

Referencing the murky depths of the pond, Martha brings up the subject of why we fear the unknown. Furthermore, she discusses people’s willingness to take risks in light of the unknown. The rest of the cast chimes in and expands upon this concept. This primarily includes the activity’s reliance on meeting new people.

At this point, the conversation gravitates towards the Traverse’s main function, problem-solving. Specifically, how teammates communicate with one another and why this is so important for success. Ideally, team members are encouraged to give each other feedback. This comes in the form of both strategy and how they communicate that strategy. Martha shares her perspective on the matter as a teacher. She explains how she imparts these skills to participants during the activity using techniques gained from the classroom. Throughout this segment, both Martha and Meagan share the experiences from their time at the pond and how they grew as individuals because of them.

As a way to close the episode, Phil asks Martha and Meagan to relate these experiences to another aspect of their lives. Meagan explains how her time at the pond reflected her transition into college and the obstacles she overcame. Martha explores how she used the experiences from this activity to find inner strength and how she shares this process with others.

The Student Pond Traverse is an activity featured in the EOL Summer Program that embodies the concept of problem-solving and the High 5 Adventure experience.