Getting the Most Out of SCAMPER: Background on the Technique

If you are a new USAT coach you have probably never heard of SCAMPER before, but even veteran coaches can benefit from a refresher and new ideas about how to use this fun brainstorming technique to help your students reach new creative heights and do their best at every Meet. It is a great way for students to stretch their imaginations, and a good fallback option if they are feeling stuck during a challenge.

SCAMPER is an acronym for a collection of ways something can be modified in order to create something new. An educator named Bob Eberle consolidated the ideas of Alex Osborn into the easy-to-remember acronym decades ago. Over time and depending on the version you use, some of the letters have come to represent more than one way to change something, so it is sometimes written as SCAMMPERR. There is no right or wrong way to use this tool as long as it helps people generate new ideas! USAT provides one version of this technique as a handout in the manual, but you can also download a PDF of the S-C-A-M-P-E-R Sheet here.

Over the next several weeks, USAT will be providing in-depth posts on each individual method to help students, parents and coaches get the most out of this great tool. If you would like to receive these updates via e-mail, please use the button on the sidebar to follow this blog. These posts, as well as other weekly brainstorming prompts, will be available on the USAT facebook page for the duration of the season, so you can also “Like” us on Facebook to follow along.

Here are the words that go with each letter:

S is for “Substitute”

C is for “Combine”

A is for “Adapt”

M is for “Magnify/Minify” or “Modify”

P is for “Put to a New Use”

E is for “Eliminate”

R is for “Reverse” or “Rearrange”

I am the Creative Director and Webmaster for US Academic Triathlon. I write the curriculum for Meets, as well as the enrichment activities and articles for this site. Peggy Sheldon, the Founder of USAT, is my mother so I have been living and breathing the program since it was founded over 30 years ago.

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Posted in For Coaches and Teachers, For Kids, For Parents, Resources, SCAMPER Technique
2 comments on “Getting the Most Out of SCAMPER: Background on the Technique
  1. […] we are the the midpoint of our SCAMPER acronym, but if you missed the background, S (Substitute), C (combine) or A (adapt) the posts are all waiting for you. So onwards and […]

  2. […] Sheet Background on the technique S is for Substitute C is for Combine A is for Adapt M is for Magnify/Minify P is for Put to Another […]

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