The Summer Camp (Junior Primary) program 'Ant Islands' was based on design thinking and set in a world of imaginary floating islands! Our teaching team turned the venue into an ocean filled with small islands, and the participating students worked in teams as island ants to complete a series of missions together. Over the course of three days, students built skills necessary for self-expression, team communication, and creative problem solving. Each session featured a simple woodworking experience in which students created their own imaginative pieces under professional guidance.
The students envisioned a future when the Earth would be engulfed by water, and in this scenario, a swarm of ants found themselves adrift at sea, grappling with the challenges of shifting weather and a changing environment. By employing storytelling and experiential learning techniques, the students gained insight into the ants' behaviours and struggles, allowing the students to cultivate empathy and apply this understanding in their own lives.
The students imagined that the ants had consumed an excess of sugar and had consequently become obese. To empathise with these overweight ants and better understand their experience and needs, the students put on some waistbands to pretend to be overweight ants.
Guided by the teaching team, the students utilised various tools such as woodworking clamps, electric wrenches, and hand saws to construct weight-loss facilities that matched the same scale as themselves. They also conducted tests among the facilities. By taking a hands-on approach, the students sought to develop a more profound comprehension of the overweight problem.
The students took on the role of floating ants, imagined themselves on a 'floating island' to evade the 'gigantic waves' and search for 'food'. Divided into four teams, they visited each other to appreciate other teams’ perspectives, in order to construct connecting bridges that ultimately could merge together to become colossal ant rafts. This activity aimed to foster an understanding of the value of collaboration and solidarity among the students. At the end of the activity, the students presented the final outcome to their parents upon completing the rafts.