Grant to help students be better competitors

By WEEK Producer

Grant to help students be better competitors

October 30, 2013 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 9:12 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- The goal of 'Team Quest' at Chiddix Junior High is to satisfy a love of learning through creativity and hands-on application. Now one teacher is going to be able to take the program even further.

Rachel Hinshaw has an unmistakable passion for teaching. And she is passing on her love of learning through a program called 'Team Quest'. It's part after-school club, part competition with other schools.

"We work on creativity and problem-solving and engineering and math, but the big part is to do all these weird challenges as a group of four," said 6th Grade Teacher, Rachel Hinshaw.

"It's kinda unpredictable. You really don't know what's going to be the challenge is going to be so it's kind of hard to prepare for," said Chiddix Jr. High 8th grader, John Patten.

But Hinshaw tries to prepare the more than 130 students that are involved as best she can.

"I had my 8th grade group in and we were building the idea of a time machine that could fit their group, but they had very limited supplies and that takes money to but those supplies," said Hinshaw.

Hinshaw says says this grant will certainly go far. This year she has struggled to come up with funding for supplies and money to enter and travel to the competitions. She adds, her inspiration for taking the classroom learning deeper is from working in the corporate world before teaching.

"There is a lot of thinking outside of the box and if we want our students to be ready in the future for these types of problems that we're going to come up with, I don't know what it might be, but I want students that can think and that can work with others and can communicate with others their ideas," said Hinshaw.