Thursday, May 28, 2009

Week Forty -- Aluminum cans

Place three cans (soda cans are easier to work with but other cans will work) on the table along with some paper, tape, and string. Tell your students to make something, anything.

They may use scissors or other cutting utensils during construction IF SUPERVISED (this is pretty dangerous and it is easy to cut yourself). Scissors may not be a part of the solution.

When they are done, but not before, show them this and this and this!

These are really cool!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Week Thirty Nine Solutions -- Perfect Pulleys

Noah (7) and his mom Nathalie built this contraption using 1 wire hanger, 1 wooden spool, some string and a paperclip. Noah used it to pull up a LEGO building. You should be proud of your work Noah! Magnificent job!

Working off the above diagram, Zee constructed his pulley using the following materials:

2 empty ribbon spools
6 yards of ribbon PLUS extra yarn
wire/pipe cleaners
willing penguin rider

Here are two other amazings views. Zee tried many "passengers" from penguins, to water bottles, to rocks, to test the integrity of the system. After weighing each item, he found out that the maximum weight capacity for the basket, before it broke, was somewhere between 4-5 pounds. The pulley itself, however, remained in good shape! Congratulations Zee! Another perfect pulley.

Just in: a super solution from Maya:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Week ThirtyNine-- Pulleys

This week, experiment with making a pulley using your choice of the following materials:

wire coat hanger
wooden spool(s)
cardboard tube(s)

Then, see how much you can lift with it! Again, this is a great one to videotape!

If you want to learn more, this is a good starting place.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week Thirty Eight Solutions - Earth Homes

Here are the mud houses that Doviegirl (11) and BananaBerry (13) made:
House 1 used: 4 pieces of bark, 11 sticks,and 6 bits of wood for 21 items in all.

House 2 used mostly mud and 7 sticks.

This was an extra challenge because they did it in the snow! Congratulations girls on a marvelous job!

Boo and Zee also did a fantastic job.

Zee's materials of choice included bark, leaves, and grass. It reminded his mom of one of the less fortunate Little Pig's houses that got blown down by the slightest puff. One of the side walls was made up entirely of bark, while the other side was more airy. Zee had originally selected rocks as well, but these never made it to the final construction.

Boo had a plan all along -- the Lincoln Log Cabin. He gathered plenty of twigs, which he broke into even more pieces, and methodically stacked four walls. For the roof, he piled on leaves and bark. The finished structure brings to mind a packrat midden or rodent home. She says she knows there's a secret entrance in there somewhere...

Amazing job!

And, check out these homes by Lime Green! More wonderful work!

Just got pictures from Orca and Alce -- absolutely marvelous! The blue pieces are the backyard pool! Very clever.

Just in: Maya's solution. It is marvelous!

You can read about it here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Week Thirty-Eight -- Earth Homes

To celebrate spring, go outside and pick 25 items. Then, use them to build an earth home. It should be at least 5 inches tall and 5 inches wide. Get dirty!

Be sure to list your items when you send in your pictures.

And, check out these houses made by Moomintroll and Snufkin. Note: this blog is currently closed to visitors. Hopefully I will get permission to post the pictures here for you shortly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Man Bands

Guess this week's challenge was hard because we only got one solution so far! But it is pretty awesome! Way to go Lime Green.

I must apologize because I forgot to post Boo's and Zee's solution earlier -- they did a marvelous job! Zee and Boo each made their own instruments, and then further challenged themselves by coming up with a collaborative musical number. You should be proud!

Here is a link to their video.

Orca and Alce also did a tremendous job with this challenge! You can read more about their solution here.

Maya just sent her one-girl band to youtube:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Week Thirty-Seven -- One Man Band

Use any/all of the following materials to create a one man band contraption that you can wear and play. This is a great one to videotape!

rubber bands
paper clips
empty cereal container
a plate
2 spoons
2 objects of your choice
a bowl
a book
a hairbrush
a comb
3 soda cans

Then, for fun, play this game

And, check out this.

Don't forget to send us your video. You can make one on if you take pictures. If you take video, send that! Let the music begin!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Silly Stories - Solutions Week Thirty Six

This week we got some marvelous participation!

Lime Green created a magnificent story. You can read more about it here.

Grace and her mom also joined in this week. Grace's story kind of sounded like a silly skit of an advertisement. It says:

"In search of great skills?
Glad you asked! Stop wasting money!
Free, fun. Join us ~ a walk in the park.
Learning in a school, standing on my father's shoulders
hanging your glasses up inside your tent? It's easier with friends!
It's the money you could be saving."
"Couldn't agree more!"

Her mom's says:
This is what I came up with:
"4 basic steps to sucessful homeschooling; a subject-by-subject guide.
Unplug your kids for learning happens for the inside out.
Promise to play.
Chat ~ "why are clouds fluffy?"
Make the sound of music and tune into good reads.
It works or it's free!"

And, Zee joined us again with some clever characters in his story:

And, Orca and Alce joined us again. The stories were marvelous! I'll put up a translation to English soon.