5th grade metro students compete for best playground concept

OKLAHOMA CITY - For these Oklahoma City fifth graders, class is a blast - especially on Thursday when they got to put the finishing touches on their playground models at the OU Innovation Hub in Norman.

“It's going to be like money but with movements,” said Denise Cardoza, a fifth grade student at Capitol Hill Elementary School.

Cardoza is on an all girls’ team for a friendly competition to create the best playground.

Their idea? A food market playground.

“It's going to be behind the counter, where you order it. Instead of money, you're going to have to spin a wheel and do exercises,” Cardoza said.

Eight teams are competing from all over the metro, all with fun ideas like a tree house concept.

“It has to be ADA compliant. It has to be active, so it has to promote activity, physical activity,” said Bill Kerr, a volunteer for Devon Energy.

Devon Energy paid for the materials and sent a staff member to each of the schools to help the teams make their dreams a reality.

“I helped with a lot of asking questions, and encouraging them to think outside of the box, and think about a design challenge and think about what their options are,” Kerr said.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel was tasked as a judge.

“What the judges will do is look at how it all came together. What's the creativity component? Are they working together as a team? All of those things we would hope for in a team atmosphere,” McDaniel said.

In the end, there could be only one winner to receive a $1,000 prize and the first place trophy.

Eugene elementary won with a robot creation.

Award or not, Cardoza is just happy she got to help.

"And, I'm happy because we got to build something for younger kids that we didn't have when we were littler,” she said.