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Faircrest Memorial Middle School students took second place in the ArtsinStark Genius Rally.
The students competed against 70 teams in the contest, which was aimed at promoting the integration of science and art.
Sixth graders Roxy Cole, Isabella Roach, Evan Keener, Kay Kohl, and Kaden Dickinson met once a week beginning in February to work on a challenge presented by ArtsinStark. The students received a box containing the written challenge, along with two bundles of raffia, bamboo sticks, rocks, clay, a coconut, acrylic paint, and a plastic bag.
Using only the materials in the box plus their own scissors, pens, pencils, cell phones, and their library students had to solve a challenge related to being marooned on a tropical island prone to heavy rain, wind, flooding, and many wild animals.
Students had to create the model for an elevated shelter, and find ways to gather food and protect themselves from the sun.
Faircrest fifth-grade teacher Amber Hershberger served as the team's coach; and music teacher Janice Barnes assisted in creating the instruments and writing the music the students used for their performance.
The Genius Rally took place at the Canton Cultural Center.
Teams shared their final products, time sheets, scale drawings, and music with the judges. They were also given an additional challenge to create a dance to perform with their song.
"We believe in the power of the arts to develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities," says Kimberly Phillips, ArtsinStark's director of education.
"Every year our challenge, which is based on State of Ohio Learning Standards for Math, Science and Art -- is meant to bring out the genius inside us all."