PARKLAND, FL- Earlier this week, gifted students in grades 3-5 at Riverglades Elementary participated in the HOPS program. HOPS stands for Hands on Problem Solving, which uses a team approach to solve various hands-on educational challenges. HOPS provides an educational team sport event.

According to their website, HOPS activities focus on a number of development skills: creative thinking, reading comprehension, interactive team work, team problem solving, strategic planning, decision-making, and challenges which include math, science, 3D design skills, visual processing and physics.

"HOPS gives our Gifted Students their time to shine! It helps them with higher order thinking skills and opportunities to think outside the box, while stepping outside their comfort zone working in cooperative groups. We see our students enjoying themselves, being themselves in gaming situations that truly let them use their talents. It is all around awesome!" shared 4th grade Gifted teacher Natale Lubinger. 

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Students divided into groups of 4-5 selected team names and dressed in team gear. Teams rotated to 4 different highly structured, creative and challenging stations. Each rotation was timed and participants are awarded points based on how many steps they complete. Upon completion of the rotations, points were tallied and first, second and third place winners were announced. All participants received certificates and winners were awarded medals for their achievements.

"My favorite part of HOPS was Captain Jack because it really made my brain work!" shared 5th grader Stone Golden, whose team Periodic Gamerz earned First Place.