Thursday, January 29, 2009

Week Twenty-Three -- Silverware

Place 8 spoons, 8 knives, and 8 forks on the table. Make a tower that is as tall as possible! As always, send in your pictures!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Clever Coin Stacking -- Week Twent Two Solutions

Michael was the first to send in his coin stack. He did a magnificent job! He was able to make a structure 5 3/4 inches wide and two inches tall with only 3 quarters touching the table.

Steven also did a fantastic job. His coin stack is a double arch with a wall. It measures 5 inches wide and 1 inch tall. Awesome work!

Explore Academy used 100 pennies and created a bridge that spanned 2 inches and stood about two inches high. They said they needed more coins to widen it more. Great job girls!

Boo and Zee also cleverly stacked some coins. They did a magnificent job. To read more about their solutions, go here.

Sebastian also did a splendid job with his coin stacking -- his structure was 3.75 inches wide and 3.25 inches tall! Way to go Sebastian!

Cal joined in again this week and did a fantabulous job with his coins. He created a bridge that was almost 10 inches wide! Way to go! To read more about his work, click here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Week Twenty Two - Widen It Up

Put 100 coins on a table. Tell your students to build the widest possible structure that stands at least 1 inch tall. Every coin must touch another coin and you should try to have the fewest coins possible touching the table. Measure the width. Send us your results!

Then, when you are done, check out this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Card City Solutions

Apologies for the delay in posting. Here are the solutions:

Gerrick did a fantabulous job! He immediately moved his cards to the floor because the carpet would help them stand. He started building "teepees" and said he was going to build an Indian village. He even included a waterfall! You can see more pictures of his solution here.

Cody and Jordan joined us for the first time and did an absolutely marvelous job! Hope to "see" you again! You can read more about their solution here.

Zee started with a very simple triangular structure, which didn't stay up too well. After that, he discovered the 3-card hut and made a bunch of those. Then, he cleverly connected the huts with a card path. Great job Zee! If you want to read more, you can read about Zee's solution here.

Modesta, Hailey, & Lore joined us this week and did a magnificent job with their city! They should be proud. They participate in a competition called Destination Imagination that focuses on creative problem solving. If you are interested in learning more, go here.

Snufkin and Moomintroll are back! They did a superb job with the city as well. To see more pictures, go here. Snufkin made a tepee city but found that laying cards across the ridges at the top helped stabilise the structure considerably. She
also almost threw her cards on instead of laying them carefully. It
disturbed the structure less.

Moomintroll made square units like this instead. It was quite
difficult to stand them up with one pair of hands but they were more
stable than the triangular structures. He stabilized them further by
laying roofs on top. To make a true city we think we would need a lot
more time, patience and sticky cards.

Alex and Charlie worked hard on their card city and did a fantastic job! To read more about their awesome creations and to see more pictures, go here.

Georgia and Olivia used some cool animal cards and a triangle structure for their solutions. They did a marvelous job! To read more, go here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Week Twenty-One -- Cities

Place a deck (or more) of cards on the table. Tell your student to build a city. No other instructions.

When done, check this out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week Twenty Solutions -- Superb Scales

Austen joined us for the first time and did an awesome job with his scale. He used a pin as his optional piece.

Thomas (11) and Grace (9) chose a metal, triangular tin for their item of choice. First, they folded the 2 pieces of paper into strips to make them stronger. Second, they unbent 2 of the paper clips and put holes in the ends of the papers and put the paper clips through the holes, creating a sort of sling for the pennies. Third, they taped the three straws together to increase their strength and taped the slings to the end of the straws. Fourth, they placed the straws on top of the tin and centered it. Last, they placed the pennies in the paper holders and it worked. The pennies are in the slings. Magnificent work Thomas and Grace! You should be proud.

Boo and Zee also joined us this week and they too created a spectacular scale! You can read about it here. Glad to have you. Hope to "see" you again!

T and H made a scale using 2 business cards, 3 straws, 2 paperclips, a cup, 4 inches of tape, another 4 inches of tape (the optional item), 4 inches of string, an eraser, and 2 pencils. Instead of scissors, they used a hole punch. First, they inserted two bendy straws into another bendy straw. Then, they folded two business cards and punched two holes in each one. They used 2 inches of string on each side to tie the cards to the paperclips. They bent the paperclips open and inserted the heavier part into the straws and used some tape to tape the ends shut so that the paperclips wouldn't fall out. Then they placed to pencils on either side of the straight main straw and taped all three to the top of the cup. They placed an eraser on top to hold it. The two pics show the scale before the pennies and after.

Snufkin and Moomintroll also did a fantastic job with their scales! You can read about it here. Snufkin pierced a straw with a paper clip and threaded both ends into two vertically-placed straws. Her item of choice was a loo-roll which she used as a stable base for her scales by taping the base of each of
the vertical straws to the cardboard inner-tube. She then made two
little pouches out of folded paper with bent paper clip hoops to hang
them on either end of the scales. She was able to balance the scales
by laying five pennies in each pouch.

Moomintroll similarly threaded his paper clips through a straw. He
then fixed the same paperclip into the top of the plastic cup. He used
his item of choice, sticky tack, inside the cup whilst he did the
piercing in order to prevent the cup from cracking. He then removed
the sticky tack. He cut a further straw in half and strengthened each
side of the central straw by inserting each half. He used the paper
and tape to make little parcels of pennies and hung them on the ends
with the pieces of string. This way he could move the parcels along
the straw at either end until he acheived a perfect balance.

M. is back again with this contribution to the scale project and he did a magnificent job! M. used 1 cup, 3 paper clips, 1 straw, and a clear plastic bag as his optional piece. He challenged himself to use the least number of items. He cut up the bottom of the cup leaving 2 stubs on which he inserted a straightened out clip as a fulcrum. The clip goes through the stubs and one straw. He attached 2 clips to each end of the straw and to 2 cut up pouches from the corners of the plastic bag. He used his scale to compare coins from different countries. the US penny is among the lightest.

Georgia just completed her scale and did a magnificent job! She even used it to compare the weight of other things like sugar and flour. To read about her solution, go here. Georgia made her scale with the two pencils and a straw forming a tripod. She used the eraser as an anchor for the straw to stop it from sliding. She used an old tissue box for her extra item and cut some cardboard from it, but she ended up not using it in the final solution. She used: two pencils, two straws, yarn, tape, four paperclips, paper, and an eraser. Great job!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ongoing Challenge #6 -- Robot

Explore Academy completed this styrofoam robot from Holiday packaging. They used no glue, just sytrofoam pieces to connect pieces to other pieces. Great job!

If you want to see other really awesome styrofoam robots, go here and here.

Gerrick made 2 robots over the Holidays. They're awesome! Gerrick, you should be proud of your great work! To read more about his robots and to see more pictures, click here.

Week 19 Solutions -- Perfect People

Bradley(13) and Tyler(9) both made some marvelously cool candy people. The choice of candy turned out to be candy bars and the type of pretzels turned out to be rods. Tyler attempted to have his man, using three legs, stand but gravity won and he ended up a laying down person. Bradley cleverly built a chair, then cut his candy bar up into body parts. Both used the gum and marshmallows as "glue" and they even "nuked" a marshmallow here and there to make them really sticky. You should be proud!