Students Get The Opportunity To Solve Real Life Problems

Oskaloosa High School students train to help problem solve and then present real life solutions for area businesses.

Oskaloosa High School students train to help problem solve and then present real life solutions for area businesses.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Now in its second year, Oskaloosa High School students are getting the opportunity to develop and then use skills to analyze a problem for a local business, then present their solution to them.

The process is designed to help students build a team atmosphere and find a solution to a problem through research.

Oskaloosa High School Principal Stacey Bandy said the program is called Iowa Quality Training, and it teaches kids how to study systems, look for solutions to problems, and ways to improve them.

The skills learned can then be used in the classroom, where they find solutions with creative and critical thinking.

Last year, the Oskaloosa High School students had an opportunity to present their work at the Governor’s Celebration of Excellence. Two teams won the opportunity to present, and OHS teachers raised the money to send the other two teams. “It was awesome because they got to present in front of people from Principle, Unity Pointe, Firestone, John Deere, and Pioneer.”

The students presented their work just as they did in Oskaloosa, presenting the solutions they brought to Oskaloosa area businesses.

That partnership between businesses and students is what makes the program special. Oskaloosa area businesses give the students an issue or problem, and the students analyze it and present their solution.

Students that participate spend the first two days of the project training. The five students then have three days to go out, learn as much about the company they are assigned to, go through the systems and then present a solution.”That solution could be to the HR, it could be to the head engineer, it can be to the CEO, whoever needs to hear it,” said Bandy.

The partner businesses have the opportunity to take or leave the solutions the students present.

“Last year we went four for four, and they used them, and it was awesome because we were saving companies money on their shipments or a company on scrap, or finding a new way to check in parts and pieces into the company. You know it was amazing the different things that were presented to these kids to have the solution, and these kids did everything,” said Bandy.

Students took real ownership of the problems they were tasked with.

Showing up at 7:30 am and staying until 5 pm, holding regular company hours. They learned through actually performing the tasks, such as building pallets, checking products into a sponsor company, and reviewing computer systems.

“Well they went in, and they found that that company wasn’t using all of the different characters that they could be using to straighten out some of the ordering,” said Bandy of the successes from last year.

Students are intimidated by workplace politics and/or consequences because they haven’t been in the work world yet, and deliver solutions without fear of reprisals.

The program isn’t open to just high school seniors. All students from freshman age and up participate. Students of different academic backgrounds also take part. Bandy says it’s a good cross-section of the students at OHS.

Local consultant Rob Taylor helped to facilitate the event held this year in the library at the Oskaloosa High School.

Taylor partners with The Iowa Quality Center, a nonprofit organization that is working to provide connections between individuals, organizations, and communities.

the process leading up to the presentations helps participants to learn the methodology of plan review. “They are actually taking a case study and going through it. And we, as facilitators, are coaching, taking them through the case study to learn the tools,” said Taylor.

The presentations were then based upon data and not opinion. After each team presented their case study, they were selected to undertake the same process for a local business.



Posted by on Feb 11 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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