For Coaches and Teachers, Resources, SCAMPER Technique

Getting the Most out of SCAMPER: P is for Put to Another Use

So far, most of the SCAMPER technique has been about how to change ideas and things, but P is all about recognizing the qualities that are already inherent in an object or attitude.

For instance, dice are used to tell you how far to advance during a board game but they could be used to practice math problems. Playing cards are used in lots of games to take tricks, but a group could decide that the person who draws the low card has to go out to get more snacks. Butter is delicious on toast, but as seen at the MN State Fair it can be a great material for sculpting. Toothpicks can get spinach out of your bicuspids, but they are also used to make appetizers easier to eat. Styrofoam is a packing material, but it also floats so if a person needs an emergency life preserver it would do in pinch to save your life.

Parque Guell ceilingLately, there has been a trend to take waste products and turn them into something new. For example, those nice tote bags that you can buy in grocery and convenience stores are often made out of recycled plastic bags. Antoni Gaudi was a Spanish artist who took broken plates and tiles and made them into beautiful artwork. In one of my favorite episodes of Mythbusters the team took old newspapers, soaked them in water and froze them in a boat-shaped mold. They were able to add and engine and motor around a lake for almost an hour!

So if you are having a practice session before a Meet, think about bringing different objects and giving the students a chance to think about all the different things they could be used for.

Happy brainstorming!

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