Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Club for Creativity - Week 2

Another week of after school club proved to be both messy, enlightening, and full of problem-solving. Here's a recap:

Day 3 ~ More Squishy Circuits

Students continued their work with squishy circuits from last week, creating new designs. Since the students had already worked with the circuits and the dough last week, they were ready to jump right in this week with more time to try new ideas.

More students this week experimented the kit's motor. One group of boys designed a helicopter blade by attaching a strip of paper to the motor. They enjoyed having me take a video in slow motion so they could see the blades rotating up close.

Smiling Heart :)
Another group of boys created a blob (not sure what it was really) that incorporated multiple LED lights, the buzzer, an alarm, and a motor. It was pretty much a potpourri of all things Squishy Circuits but they managed to get it to work!
The Blob


These cute creatures were bright-nosed
Some creative girls set to work on building snowmen, insects, and other interesting creatures. That's the great thing about Squishy Circuits - they allow for each student's creativity to be used in a variety of ways.

Last count -- about 5 lights were destroyed and multiple pieces of playdough ended up squished into the carpet. But luckily our generous night custodian offered to scrape the dough out of the carpet and vacuum it promptly before I finished cleaning up my supplies and leaving for the evening.

Day 4 ~ An introduction to Brush Bots!

Did you know a toothbrush could be transformed into a crazy, motorized circuit that can move as well as cause a bunch of 9-10 year-olds an unlimited amount of smiles and squeals? Well, it was certainly true last Thursday.                                                                                                       With some careful tweaking and attention to detail, these students were able to create these little motorized brush bots. Then, after making the base model, the students started designing traps, add-ons, LEGO playgrounds, and more. It was neat to see the differences in their bots - some were fast, others slow, some spun quickly in place, and others scooted across the table. Part of the fun was that the brush bots were - for the most part - moving haphazardly. Having control over something uncontrollable proved to be a challenge in itself. :)

Brush bot
Students took on challenges to try to modify their brush bot to travel in different ways - straight, spin, circle. They also used some found objects from the classroom such as LEGOs, pipe cleaners, paper, and tape to redesign their brush bots.

We LOVE brush bots

Next week we'll continue modifying our designs and creating a unique, artistic brush bot that we will get to take home! In addition, we will explore a new item -- Makey Makey.

Until next time.........

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