The History of our Cross-Curricular Climbing Walls
As a company, one of our goals is to bring climbing, with its countless benefits, to as many people as possible. One way we do this is by offering a large variety of innovative climbing walls to fit many needs. Because most of our climbing walls are installed in schools, integrating climbing with other school subject areas interested us. We developed cross-curricular climbing activities because we knew that combing climbing with math, language arts and other subjects would help reinforce classroom learning, engage kinesthetic learners and infuse physical activity into the learning experience. However, these cross-curricular activities could sometimes be cumbersome to set up and facilitate, requiring educators to create letter, word and number note cards and tape them to the climbing wall or tuck them behind hand holds. During the activities, these cards could be knocked off by climbers and are not easy to move. We got the idea to create a cross-curricular climbing wall. By modifying the surface of the climbing wall itself, to enable writing and the placement of magnets, we simplified the pre-activity prep and implementation of cross-curricular climbing wall activities. Here’s a brief history of the evolution of our patented cross-curricular climbing wall offerings:
The Discovery Blackboard Wall was our first cross-curricular climbing wall. Its blackboard surface not only allows for writing using chalk, but it also accepts magnets. It has an “old-school” look, smooth feel and greatly simplifies cross-curricular activities. For example, educators can write even or odd numbers next to hand holds and challenge climbers to climb across the Traverse Wall® using only the odd number hand holds. Similar activities can be created with words or letters, for example, climbing only using holds marked with nouns. Chalk and magnets (math, letters and words) are included with each climbing wall.
When dry-erase boards became more popular than blackboards in schools, we decided we needed to have this updated option available and developed the Discovery Dry-Erase Wall. The dry-erase surface looks great with words, numbers, shapes and artwork on it. The climbing wall also accepts magnets, so it has all the benefits of our Discovery Blackboard Wall. It also has a smooth surface and provides endless opportunities to host cross-curricular activities. Weekly spelling tests can be conducted on the climbing wall and math facts can be practiced – the possibilities are endless. Dry-erase markers and magnets (math, letters and words) are included with each climbing wall.
Next, we wanted to create a lower-cost cross-curricular wall. The Magna Wall features a magnet-accepting surface and is less expensive than our other two cross-curricular climbing walls. Its surface is textured, so it looks and feels more like our Standard Wall and textured climbing walls you find in climbing gyms and health clubs. The versatile Magna Wall has become our overall most-popular climbing wall. Magnets (math, letters and words) are included with each climbing wall.
While developing our cross-curricular climbing walls, we also developed Discovery Dry-Erase Plates. These 12” x 12” plates are installed between the hand holds and the climbing wall and transform any climbing wall into a cross-curricular climbing wall. Discovery Plates have a dry-erase and magnet-accepting surface. They’re the perfect retrofit for those that do not have a cross-curricular climbing wall. Magnets (math, letters and words) are included.