Why should we care about problem solving activities for high school students? What’s the fastest way to get to and from work? How can I complete a task more efficiently? What should I have for lunch today? No matter the size, scale, or ramifications, we all encounter scenarios every day that require the very best of our decision-making abilities. The approaches that we employ to solve these problems can be every bit as diverse as the problems themselves.
Sometimes we crowdsource, other times we decide using trial and error, and in a pinch, we solicit the unerring wisdom of Siri. What happens though, when there simply is no collection of experts to whom we can appeal and we’re devoid of the familiar technology that helps make our decisions for us? Computers do an excellent job of automating processes, but are incapable of the initial pattern recognition required to identify the most efficient solution available. What’s more, in a time crunch, trial and error won’t stand you in good stead; you’ll have to decide in an instant. This need for self-reliance in decision-making scenarios makes critical thinking, the ability to use facts, knowledge and data to successfully solve problems, absolutely indispensable. This is further reflected by the recent trend of rapid growth in demand across industries that seek talent with considerable problem-solving abilities, as well as the increased use of problem solving activities in the workplace to continue employee development.
In order to best set the next generation up for success in this regard, it’s critical to begin fostering these skills from an early age. Beginning in high school or earlier, problem solving enables students to apply what they’ve learned as opposed to merely recalling information that they have been spoonfed, equipping them with an arsenal of tools and approaches to tackle issues that may have previously seemed uni-dimensional. This ability, in turn, transforms the rigors of academic learning into that something that’s applicable at a professional level, simultaneously silencing the familiar “when will I ever use this?” chorus to which educators have become so accustomed. Whether carried out in individual or group settings, problem solving activities help students develop critical skills such as leadership, teamwork, creativity, persistence, and incremental improvement through repetition.
And if you are looking for more brain thinking activities we have a similar read – 10 Best Team Building Problem Solving Activities.
In addition to discovering new, useful techniques with which to tackle problems, students that are immersed in problem solving endeavors learn effective ways to present their findings once all is said and done, providing them with valuable written and oral skills in addition to those included in the aforementioned list. In short, when teachers present students with problems and task them with finding a solution, teachers can ensure that their students are prepared for challenges that they will encounter after graduation. We searched the web looking for the best problem solving games, and took the recommendations from various sources, such as Concordia, and Stanford to name a few. Here is a list of 10 problem solving activities for high school students to help them sharpen their skills.