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UTAH KIDS JUMP INTO THE GAME OF PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

SHARE UTAH KIDS JUMP INTO THE GAME OF PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Olympic organizers may be interested in what Utah's kids are thinking.

In a two-hour workshop at Westminster College, kids thought about the environmental impact of the 2002 Olympics. Then they tried to come up with some solutions.The workshop was in conjunction with the 1996 Partners for the Planet youth summit.

Sheri Sohm, a teacher at Hawthorne Elementary and an adult workshop facilitator, said that because kids don't come equipped with much ideological baggage, they can come up with some good solutions.

"The advantage of this is that they are pretty non-emotional," Sohm said. "They can be creative with their problem-solving when they don't come in with any preconceived notions."

The workshop used a process called the future problem-solving model.

The kids were divided into groups of three or four and were charged to brainstorm possible environmental problems the Olympics could cause. They then identified an underlying problem and brainstormed solutions to the problem.

Groups came up with different emphases. Some focused on recycling, while others brainstormed about pollution and problems with mass transportation.

The solutions were as varied as the problems.

One group decided people wanting to convert from petroleum to natural gas should be able to do it for free. Another recommended that public transportation be made more attractive by lowering prices for buses while making prices for parking high.