The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Maker: Papercraft & Chemistry

Papercraft & Chemistry Week of 4/20/2015 Consider this an open request for ideas using Minecraft as a vessel for making and learning new things. There is so much potential within the game itself, but the way it has captivated so many young minds is truly fascinating. We have a few young Makers in our ranks that are obsessed with the…

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Maker: Ornithology and the Art of Stamp-Making

Ornithology and the Art of Stamp-Making Week of 3/23/15 With Spring right around the corner (hopefully!), the Maker workshop began class on Tuesday by hunting for birds. Equipped with a camera, binoculars, and notepad, four intrepid explorers set out into the wilds of the arboretum in search of volant life. Our eyes and ears scanned the treetops, woodpiles, and telephone wires….

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Maker: Sculpting and Screen Printing

Sculpting and Screen Printing Week of 1/12/15 Neither the sculpting nor the “screen printing” were done in conventional ways at the Maker Workshop. Typically clay and ink are the mediums associated with these two activities but we did our best to ward off normalcy of any kind. On Tuesday, we sculpted. Using tin foil and multi-colored panels as a base, we…

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ESCHER #1: What is Symmetry?

(January 6, 2015)  How do you define symmetry?   This question became the crux of our first Math Circle on Escher.  Our 11-13 year-olds debated this question for well over an hour. It all started when I passed a bunch of images around: >beehives and other natural patterns, >examples of Moorish architecture, >various Escher works, and >a guy staring at his…

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Maker: Welcome Back!

Welcome Back! Week of 1/5/15 After what was a lovely and relaxing winter break I am excited for the start of a new “semester.” I have been busy planning the upcoming month’s projects for our Maker group and with the help of several generous donations, things are underway. This week we constructed catapults out of craft sticks, rubber bands, and…

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Maker: Bubbles & Sponge Sculptures

Bubbles & Sponge Sculptures Week of 10/6/14 When our Maker workshop wasn’t outside enjoying the beautiful weather, it was inside conducting science experiments and exploring “odd” mediums of art. During Tuesday’s class we concocted a super bubble mixture and then tested it out in a variety of ways. In addition to the bubbles, we divvied up 6 colored sponges and set…

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MAKER: Paper People & Paper Pressings

Paper People & Paper Pressings February 21, 2014 Whew…that’s a lot of P’s! I have been wanting to introduce more creative activities in our Maker Class. Projects with no real defined “goal” per se but with interesting materials that can allow our young people to make things they can be proud of. I found this shaving cream activity to be just…

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PROOFS #6: Math as Art, Collaboration, and Spectator Event

(May 21, 2013)  There’s more than one way to prove the vertical angle theorem:  verbally, numerically, algebraically (with various approaches), intuitively, visually.  Our Math Circle participants debated and attempted them all.  When the theorem was finally proven algebraically, everyone smiled.  It was a satisfying proof.  And it was fun.  And we learned on the way.  Some highlights: N asked “What…

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