A group of fifth graders at Lizzie Curtis Elementary in Northwest ISD noticed their school lacked soccer goals and went to their teacher, Ruthie Keys. Instead of solving the issue for them, Keys inspired them to find a solution together.

The backstory

According to a district news release, earlier this fall the group of 15 fifth graders realized Curtis Elementary didn’t have any soccer goals. They went to Keys to see if she could help them get the ball rolling on installing a couple soccer goals. Keys realized the situation was an opportunity to help the group practice their problem-solving skills.

The specifics

The news release states Keys helped the group brainstorm how to create durable soccer goals and identify the materials needed. Using her own personal funds, she purchased all of the supplies the students would need. Not only are all Curtis Elementary students enjoying the new soccer goals, members of the community surrounding the campus use them most evenings to enjoy a game of soccer, the release states.

Zooming in

The group used indoor recess time to construct their goals within their classroom's flex space, according to the news release. Keys guided them every step of the way, especially when they had to deconstruct the goals after realizing they wouldn’t fit through the doorway.

The news release states that ultimately the group constructed two soccer goals.

Quote of note

“It is an amazing example of problem-based learning with relevance and heart,” Curtis Elementary Principal Carrie Pierce said in the release. “Students used a variety of academic, collaborative and problem-solving skills to create their soccer goals, and now our entire campus can enjoy them.”