Just announced plans for Space Day at Salt River Elementary – our 6th year!
As the event grows bigger each year, my thanks to those who will be supporting it:
Space science is a fascinating field, and gives us who focus on STEM an ability to widen the lens. Consider some of the recent developments
Today is the last day for two of my team members at Salt River Elementary. Wes Filhart has been our PE teacher for 9 years. Suzanne Decker leaves after a 14-year run. There is so much I have learned from them over the years.
It’s not fun when your core members leave. They sure motivated me with their passion for their job, and their infectious sense of humor. Which is a great way to set up this video that Mrs. Decker, titled ‘The Five Phases of Teaching’.
On a different note, below is last year’s Spring music event, one of the many well-produced events Suzanne has been putting together. You can catch a glimpse of Wes, a musician in his own right in the clip (at 4:14 secs.)
For the second year, I’m holding the Solar Oven Chili Cook-off.
Nothing like bringing the school year to a close at the computer & tech lab, than something that does not involve batteries, software or screens. I think we have all had enough of that!
Though this is the second annual Chili Cookoff, this is the third year of incorporating a solar oven project into my STEM curriculum, thanks to Solavore. We use the Solavore Sport ovens. In the picture, extreme right is Solavore founder and CEO, Ann Patterson.
For our students, Hydro Dynamics is something they’ve been passionate about this whole year, especially the Dakota Access Pipeline issue they took up, supporting the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and their water conservation efforts. They have made presentations to the community, and had many brainstorming sessions on water challenges. The theme, also harks back to an earlier environmental challenge in 2015, Trash Trek.
So when they come back in Fall, many of them who rejoin robotics will be primed to think like engineers, designers, and scientists, and problem-solve a water issue facing a community.
Here’s more about Hydro Dynamics in the 2017 season. And the teaser video.
The cross-streets of Electric Avenue were filled with parents and children engaged in activities from ‘art bots’ to solar power; from unusual ‘machines’ to circuits. Then there were the bridge builders! The competition this year was to build a bridge with no more than 50 Popsicle sticks. The structure had to carry a load of up to 10 pounds.
Montessori International School – Brown Road campus. Students and their science teacher, Scott Logan had an interactive table display of batteries (the fruit kind!), motors built with copper wire and a battery. They also brought a student-made ‘Electric House’ designed just for this event. It was a cardboard cutout with working models of home appliances that could be operated via a series of switches.
HeatSync Labs – Mesa, Arizona. Eric Ose brought something that required a hands-on effort of many students to make the device work. It was a cutout of Saturn, and students were given a soldering iron with which they had to connect a string of individual LEDs, to the ring of Saturn.
By the end of the evening, we could light up the ring, taking Electric Avenue to a different level! HeatSync Labs, a Maker Space run by volunteers, is definitely worth a visit. I took my robotics team there a few years back.
Martin Art Center. Martin Wesolowski and his wife displayed a Chaldni Plate. Martin runs a hands-on STEM center in Glendale Arizona. The experiment was about using sound waves to create artistic patterns when particles on the plate (salt, typically) resonate.
My ‘Specials’ team manned a ‘MakerSpace’ table on circuits, batteries and motors. I even built something I had wanted to do for a long time – build the so-called ‘Steady-hand Game’. This used to be a staple game of skill in our youth. The concept being, a wand that you had to move along a twisted wire, without touching it and completing the circuit.
Below is an art project that glowed under a black light, and some of the bridge entries.