By Lucie Roy
Morinville – Students at École Georges P. Vanier and Notre Dame Elementary School are having fun challenging themselves at a Mission Impossible physical education game which consists of an obstacle course and teamwork with the applicable Mission Impossible theme song playing in the background. It is a game which increases the student’s ability to think critically as well as get them to practice working as a team. The goal is to get from one side of the gym to the other with one student observing and the other performing the task. If the student doing the course touches an obstacle they must go back and start all over.
At Vanier the team consists of a spy who watches and the secret agent who tries to get through the entire circuit. At Notre Dame they have a judge who watches over the team member trying to get through the course.
“The students really like it,” said Vanier Principal Marlene Pelletier. “They are very enthusiastic and learning it is fun to get fit.” The students work on an honour system.
The Vanier obstacle course has the students going through a mine field of small pylons, through a maze, attempting up to three shots with a bowling ball, two chances of throwing a rubber fish in a milk crate, a sack race in a mine field of bean bags, going under an archway, under a spiders web, riding through hoops and chairs on a scooter, tip toeing through a mine field of bean bags and three chances at a ball toss. The course is increased in its complexity based on the grade level in the gym at the time.
Notre Dame physical education teacher Tina MacKinnon said she had the gym divided into five stations: the matt ball pit, agility challenge, benches, scooter maze and hoop da loop. “Each station has its own challenge; strength, balance and mental toughness, with all with the element of fun and no two stations are alike.” MacKinnon said.
Through this obstacle course students can learn more than athletic skills. They can learn life skills, patience, endurance, perseverance, focus, balance and the understanding it takes to have a good life.
Through the competitive and physical aspect of the game, the math involved becomes a way for students to learn, enjoy and exercise all at once. Mission Impossible combines teamwork with physical movement and math calculations. The five stations include a set of instructions that students need to complete in order to get to the next level of the game. The instructions at every station have a physical component and a math component – for example throwing three balls. Notre Dame’s Mission Impossible runs until Jan. 20.