2019 Cougar Class #5: Culture Class


Date: 12/4/2019
Where: Montgomery High School

Number of Students: 73

Action Items: Plastic Cups, Construction Paper, Tape

Impact on Team: Instead of a teacher or a mentor starting the Cougar Class, team members from various cultures gave brief presentations of their heritage, such as where they came from, the history of their country, and the diverse culture which is relevant in this country. This shows how diverse Team 1403 really is, as students had the opportunity to connect with one another through their similarities. After all the mentors presented their culture, the challenge activity started.

The students were split into teams and each group was given a piece of paper with two cups displayed on it. The cups were positioned differently for each group, which caused confusion among the students. Prior to this, the students were not given any directions, which made groups confused and forced them to improvise. As the challenge progressed, the students finally understood what they should do, which was to invent a product including the orientation of the cups and create a two-minute “Shark Tank” style presentation for the mentors. They had to explain the specifics of their product, including its cost, functions, and how the members worked together cohesively to create it.

Teams were critiqued on their presentation and their product, which the mentors used to decide the winner. This Cougar Class exposed many students to different cultures and habits that they were previously not aware of. To extend this idea, Team 1403 gathered a new understanding of their peers who were starting to know each other. In another aspect, the challenge activity helped the team with etiquette (especially with judges), presentational skills, and teamwork. The stakes of presenting to mentors and designing a project represents designing and presenting during build season, which ultimately helps us prepare for it.