OSU Institute of Technology’s Critical Thinking Race is a cross between “The Amazing Race” and a quiz show.
Teams of two to three students from student groups and programs must race around campus to various stops where they have to complete a task before moving on the next.
This was the second year for the Critical Thinking Race, organized by OSUIT’s Assessment Committee, and this year’s event on April 6 focused on ethics and diversity.
Clayton Eubanks, Garrett Myers and Lori Willis made up the winning team from the International Society of Automation. Second place went to David Cunningham, Jesse Helms and Jeff McCarther from Orthotics & Prosthetic Technologies; and Preston Hackett, Adrienne Luster and Cody Swearer from the Association of Information Technology Professionals took third.
This was Luster’s second year to participate in the race.
“We enjoyed running around campus to answer questions and put our skills to the test,” she said. “This year we wanted first, even though we came in third. I enjoyed the activities we got to do, especially the O&P activity.”
This year teams had nine stops on their race hosted by student groups, academic areas and administrative offices such as Network Gaming Association, Phi Theta Kappa, Residence Halls Association, Visual Communication Collective, Purchasing and Accounting, Arts & Sciences, and O&P, which was also the teams’ favorite stop.
At the O&P stop, each team member was fitted with a prosthetic arm and had to maneuver it to move objects from one end of a table to another.
“We got to experience what others have to go through when they are missing a limb. It was good to get to do something other than answer questions,” Luster said.
The Assessment Committee uses the Critical Thinking Race as a way to raise awareness among students, said Dr. Melissa Dreyer, communications instructor and campus assessment coordinator.
“While we realize that faculty and staff at OSUIT must have an understanding of the assessment process and our core outcomes, it is also important for our students and our campus community to have an understanding of those outcomes and what we are striving for as a college,” Dreyer.
Ethics and diversity was this year’s race theme, which could be a challenge for the teams, Luster said.
“Everyone sees each situation differently, so trying to answer diversity and ethics questions can be very difficult,” she said, but she’s glad something like this is offered on campus. “It brings out the competitiveness of everyone without being a sport. I am a disabled vet and so was another member of my team. We were able to get around campus without running and aggravating injuries that we have.”
Luster said she hopes next year more clubs and programs host stops and through better advertising, more students participate.
“Not everyone knows what this is. They think it will be boring or that it will make them look stupid. We need to have this race appeal to more students, so there needs to be more activities and more communication,” she said.
Teams were rewarded with prizes from restaurants in Okmulgee including Boomerang, Capp’s Barbecue, Dairy Queen, El Charro, Ike’s, Massey’s Barbecue and Sonic. The OSU Foundation also provided T-shirts as prizes.