The Talking Stick Blog

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Maker: Science, Snow Days, and Spice Paints

Maker Workshop

Science, Snow Days, and Spice Paints

Weeks of 2/9 & 2/16

Now that we're in the thick of winter, it's causing some delays, cancellations, and late Maker blogposts. I cannot control the weather but the write-ups I do apologize for. Last Tuesday, we made hovercrafts using CDs, balloons, and soda bottle caps. This was a particularly enjoyable activity for me because I observed as F, E, and G used their creativity and problem solving skills to produce a working hovercraft. It was a problem because the soda caps which were supposed to release a steady stream of air (from pin holes in the tops) were too big for the balloons to stretch over the top. This left us with a major problem. The balloons -- the only source of air pressure to lift our hovercrafts -- could not be attached to the craft itself. We put our brains together, realizing that we needed something smaller than the soda cap, and began designing different methods of attachment for our balloons. We used a lot of hot glue and a lot of patience but in the end the results spoke for themselves.

Maker Workshop

Before we began we sketched out our ideal hovercrafts and discussed what mechanisms were essential.

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F and E begin attaching their new pieces to the hovercraft.

Maker Workshop

The finished products.

Later in the week we built pinwheels and used them to discuss Newton's 3rd Law -- actions and reactions. This was a simple but effective means of exploring this common physical law. After we made the pinwheels, the balloons took on a life of their own. With the straws still attached, they could be inflated then set loose on the floor to break dance, spin, or slither like a snake. It was surprisingly amusing. Below is an example of the finished product.

After a snow day on Tuesday we reconvened on Thursday. I was intrigued with a blog I found that combined tempera paints with spices to add a sensory element to an already enjoyable activity. We began by guessing what each spice was -- charting and organizing the results -- then voting on which spices we wanted to mix with each color. After each color was properly mixed we painted cats, volcanos, peace signs, landscapes, and abstract shapes. We found that the vanilla and cinnamon were the strongest scents, which says something considering how many had stuffy noses that day.

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Everyone begins painting.
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J paints a vanilla volcano with cinnamon lava.