Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What if we connect the learning to usable skills?

A parent of one of my students from last year posted this picture on Facebook.  This is a Halloween decoration that quit working.  Rather than being discarded the student had the confidence to open it up and reestablish the circuit.  He then decided to see if he could convert a pond pump's solar panel to a phone charger.
The working Haunted House minus a few screws.
  I can't wait to see what comes next.

I Love My Job

So the last couple of years on the day before Thanksgiving break Dempsey and I set up a bunch of Chemistry demo's.  Here is a compilation video of the demo's.  The joy on Dempsey and my face is real.  The video's are provided by my wife who bought me a GoPro last year for Christmas.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2015

A waste work day

Today was a work day on our waste project.  Here are a couple groups ideas.
This group is making backboards to make recycling more fun.
They needed to open op the holes on the clamps.
No sew T-shirt grocery shopping bags.
The finished product.  I thought these were awesome.  You can take T-Swizzle with you anywhere.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Making for an Anniversary

So every year for our anniversary my wife and I make each other gifts.  We look up to see what the "traditional" anniversary gift is for that year and make something out of that material.  Year 7 is copper. 
I first converted the images to black and white.  The instructable recommended high contrast photos.  Then I printed the photo onto an overhead and heat it up to transfer the image. Here is the instructable: http://m.instructables.com/id/easily-etch-images-in-copper/
A Family shot.
This is a picture of Shannon kayaking with Ellie and Maggie.
Lake Dunmore 
I then cleaned up the images with some steel wool.  Then the copper with the image goes face down into a bath of Ferric Chloride (thank you Amazon).  This took about an hour. 
I found some clips and screwed them to a board.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A good day of making!

Kids worked on a variety of projects today in Discovery.  First up we have students playing Sphero golf.  Kids take turns programming using the Spark app to knock over the graduated cylinder.
The Tee
Obstacles 
Drag and drop block programming.
Soap carvings
Here we have a robot helmet for a monster movie.
Making progress on the tin castle.
TinkerCad

Monday, November 16, 2015

A couple of examples.

Here are a couple of examples of student work with infographics.  Both groups have chosen to work on waste at lunch but in different ways.

Law of Conservation of Matter

Today we worked on a lab dealing with The Law of Conservation of Matter.  Students massed vials and then the liquids to see if the amount of matter changed during the reaction.
Pre mixing
The reaction formed a precipitate.

Friday, November 13, 2015

We took over the Library.

During our waste project this week.  Dempsey and I joined classes and had students present their infographics to each other.  Kids talked to each other about how they were going to solve a problem.  Kids networked.  Questions were asked. Information was shared.  It was a good day.  Thanks Mrs. T for the use of your space.  Thanks Dr. Simpson for checking out the work.
We brought in a couple monitors.
We stepped out of the way.
Piktochart is slick.
The chaos.
We even hijacked the big T.V.
Kids sharing their work.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What if 8th graders were designers for the Preschool?

Phase one of this story can be found here: Pink Room Blog

My daughter is in Pink Room at Ambrose Family Center.  I showed the picture from Pink Room Blog to a couple of my students and one started working.  Here is his work.
Notice that his original didn't end up looking like the final product.
Here he copied the shelf, made four, and then made the original shelves holes.  You can see notches where the shelves are supposed to go.
We printed a small prototype for him to have.
He took it home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Finished Stations

We had three stations left to finish.  Here are two of them.  We also took a formative over goal 2.
Distillation
Oil and water being separated with a pipette.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mixture Stations

Today we did some stations to separate mixtures.  Tomorrow is a formative.
Evaporating salt water.
The salt left over.
Sand, iron filings, and a magnet.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Go Time

Today's the day.  Modifications are finished.  We had a gorgeous day to test our filters.
Here is my concoction.
We got the drone out for some footage.  I will post the video in a separate blog.
As well as a panoramic.
A filter doing its thing.
These students made a focusing beam out of an old big screen tv.  The idea was to use the sun to boil the water.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Taking action

Today was a waste project day.  I feel like we are on the edge of a cliff ready to jump off and put a lot of ideas in motion.  I don't have a ton of pictures from today but I had a great talk with a group of ladies thinking about silverware.  They would really like to change the fact that the cafeteria only uses plastic silverware.  Today they went to Mrs. Edwards and scheduled a meeting with Dr. Smith.  On Monday they will talk to her about their ideas.  They searched for alternatives, they compared products, they used math to figure out what the best deal was, they worked on a problem that they wanted to solve, and they learned. 
Biodegradable Sporks was the answer.

Where's my lunch, man?

I forgot my lunch at home.  As I walked into Dempsy's room I was saved by a tower garden.
It's pretty.
My future lunch.
So good.
Snaking my lunch.
Mikey likes it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Last day in class

Today we put finishing touches and final last minute tests on our filters.  We test Friday so check back in to see our final results.
Getting fancy
Boom!  Clean agua.
Where is the saw?