On 24-25 November 2018, High Achievers had the honour of conducting Design Thinking via Archery with a youth group. This 2-day weekend programme aimed at stimulating the participants' creativity by allowing them to explore the art of bow making using engineering principles.
We started off the day by giving an eye-opening introduction to the history of bow making and the common types of bow and their structures. The children were given the opportunity to explore the 3 fundamental bow templates; recurve; compound and longbow. This self-discovery gave them an appreciation of how the science behind their selected bows' templates impacted their intended arrow flight patterns.
Before they could demonstrate their adept craftsmanship, the importance of safety was reiterated to the group through safety hazard briefings for exposed flames and sharp objects. Safety gloves were also issued to protect themselves when handling work tools.
In order to mould the PVC pipes into their desirable shapes, the pipes were heated to their heat distortion point. The heat gun was handled only by our instructors. Moulding of the pipes by the participants was done under the close supervision of our instructors to ensure that safety was not compromised.
The string and arrow shelf were finally added to complete the bow. But things were not as easy as it seems. The participants' resourcefulness were put to the test, given only basic recyclable materials to complete their crafts. Some of them even thought out of the box! They used materials that were not originally intended to be on the shelf but surprisingly, it "upgraded" their bows!
A crash course on the dynamics of archery skills encompassing aim, posture, distance judging, coordination and aerodynamics were conducted amidst the lush greenery. This gave our young hunters a sense of wilderness and appreciation for the environment.
Even our targets were do-it-yourself (DIY)! Created from old newspapers, reusable broomsticks and hula-hoops. At High Achievers, we believe in reducing our carbon footprint, even during our camp activities.
Personalise your bow
While one group was busy honing their marksman skills, the other group was busily spraypainting and customising their bow's appearance. Their artistic talents were on display: many bow designs impressed our instructors! Face masks were issued to prevent choking on the odour of the spray paint.
Captain On the Deck!
While waiting for the bows to dry, our instructors conducted a mini energiser to pass the time. Our participants had to rely on their instinctive communication skills and trust to lead their groups into overcoming the various obstacles.
Oh no! Some bows were faulty due to certain errors made during the prototype phase. It was delightful to see them test their bows and troubleshoot them with our instructors. With our assistance, coupled with our young hunters' keen analytical thinking skills, we were able to strategically salvage the broken bows.
All good things must come to an end as we came to an emotional parting of ways with our young hunters. They will always be in our hearts, and we hoped they were as fascinated by self-learning and creation as we were, impressed by their maturity and creativity despite their young age.
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