some of you know the story of the chimp closed in an
experiment-room with a banana hanging from the ceiling
just out of his reach. A researcher intending to test
the monkey's mental skills enters the room and places
a few large boxes here and there supposing the chimp
would use them to reach the banana. The chimp calmly
observes the researcher and as he passes just under the
banana, he springs up and jumps onto the shoulders of
the researcher to grab the coveted fruit. What is the
moral of this story? Real problems never have anticipated
solutions and the 'context' of a problem is as important
as the problem itself.
Puzzles and manipulatives always place the player in a 'context'
enhancing visuo-spatial skills and critical thinking. They work as a catalyst,
awakening curiosity and geometric intuition in young people.
The personal gratification of solving a puzzle is a small victory
which, little by little, builds self-esteem and confidence. For these reasons
they are excellent tools for channeling the energy of young people with learning
difficulties and a useful rehabilitation support for disabled people. As educational
manipulatives, puzzles won’t transform anybody into a genius but they surely
develop the capacity to redefine a problem and the will to persevere. Making
geometry ‘tangible’ in this ‘virtual’ era, may be anachronistic,
but a screen will never take the place of hands-on experience.
The goal of Archimedes' Lab is to provide a variety of interesting
puzzles that can be used to create an 'open' learning environment. The index
below is designed for people who have an interest in education where you'll find
some original handouts, and material for classroom activities. You can reproduce
any text or image contained in this website as 'resource material' (but not for
commercial use!) for classroom projects/activities, workshops, training courses
or just for fun... In exchange, a link back to our site would be greatly appreciated!
For your info: we have opted for a low-tech site,
keeps our site accessible to all, and remains pleasing to