By Ashley Browning

Jennings County High School recently invited third-graders in the advanced program from all six surrounding elementary schools to participate in a workshop centered on creative thinking.

The Sept. 21 workshop encouraged students to create in many different ways. This included anything from creating stories to creating puppets. The students also had several people talk to them about importance of thinking “outside the box,” especially in our ever-changing world.

Every participating student participated in four hour-long stations: puppet making, storytelling, printmaking and artistic math. Each station had its own presenter and a student helper from the high school that had also been part of the advanced program during their elementary school career.

Puppeteers Robin Holm and David Wight of Adzooks brought a variety of household items for the third-graders and a challenge. This challenge was to create a puppet from the shovels, spoons and other small tools that they had brought by adding stickers, fabrics, plastics, pipe cleaners and several other objects. On top of this, students were tasked with giving their puppet a personality, voice and even a story.

Michael Mirabile’s learning station focused on printmaking, the art of carving a design into a block, covering it in ink and translating the art onto paper. The students were able create small stamps — a form of printmaking — at this station with their desired design. The students then practiced printing these stamps onto paper by dipping them in ink.

At another station, students saw how aspects of math are incorporated into art. They were shown how many of the most famous art pieces follow the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical equation that follows the major parts of the art piece. They were also tasked to create the tallest, freestanding structure they could from rolled up newspaper.

The students expanded on their communication and storytelling abilities at the storytelling station, led by Bob Sander. Here, students listened to Sander’s story and told him what they liked and what they disliked. The students were then asked to tell each other about personal experiences that they had had in their lives.

The students participating in the day’s activities learned and had fun in the process. Each station challenged them to create and meet the challenge that had been laid before them, and every student’s end result was a unique one.

Ashley Browning is a senior at Jennings County High School.