Greenbush Education Service Center teaches kids the importance of communication

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A converted warehouse is being used to teach kids about the importance of communicating and how to overcome obstacles.

Believe it or not, it’s a classroom where they can practice what teachers call “soft skills,” like communication. But the “Flex Plex” at Greenbush isn’t just a classroom. It’s a place where physical activity becomes how these critical skills are taught.

“Oh, get them out and get their hands dirty, for sure. They’re going to learn a lot more, be more engaged, and it’s better to have active learning than just reading,” says Ashton Scholtz, Mobile STEM Instructor, Greenbush.

And Scholtz says while a climbing wall may seem like an odd choice to get students engaged in the classroom, it’s actually very effective.

“It goes right in with everything we think here at Greenbush, in getting kids engaged and having them active in learning,” says Scholtz.

The facility used to be a warehouse, and is in the process of being converted into what Amie Beggs says is called the “Flex Plex,” short for flexible complex.

“We can do lower ropes elements, so it doesn’t require us to be on belay, we can do higher ropes elements, we’ve just put in a rock wall, but it can also be converted to a meeting space if needed,” says Amie Beggs, Ropes Course and Student Leadership specialist, Greenbush.

And it’s designed to help kids learn soft skills, like communication.

“It puts students in a position where they have to communicate with other people, they have to talk about what’s going wrong, what needs to change, things that they can adapt so they can do it correctly,” says Beggs.

And when it comes to learning those skills, Beggs says there’s no better way than to practice them in a live exercise.

“I think this kind of interaction really facilitates something that is more engaging, and can be truer for people,” says Beggs.

Whether it’s on the climbing wall, or working as a team to stack crates while standing on them, Scholtz says there’s something that can help just about any student connect those problem solving, teamwork and leaderships skills to nearly any subject.

“I’ve learned a lot, just about communication and working with others, so especially for younger kids, it’s perfect for them,” says Ashton Scholtz.

While the facility is primarily for students in the schools served by Greenbush, it can be booked for private parties, corporate retreats and even weddings. You can learn about how to book it through a link we’ve provided here. And there are other facilities and activities at greenbush you can explore as well through that link.

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