Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wind Mobiles

Workshop goers received tubs with
the following supplies:

1 piece of paper
3 straws
2 paper clips
4 Life Savers

Teams were challenged to make wind powered cars. I'm always fascinated at the amount of different designs kids come up with. I learned last year that when you show kids an example, they do their best to mimic it. When you leave it up to their imaginations, the results are always WAY better. Life Savers got sticky... kids got hungry... need better wheels next time.

Activity courtesy of  ZOOM Engineering.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Conductive Creativity with MakeyMakey

I first tested this out with the high school interns at Vicente Martinez High School & although I haven't incorporated computers into the JM Science Workshop yet, it definitely was a hit & really helped students play with technology in creative ways. 

Here are some great educational resources for MakeyMakey Invention Kits:


Classrooms next level


A big thanks to the John Muir PTA for supporting the John Muir Science Workshop!! Here's just a few Standards that were covered in this lesson - courtesy of Educade. 

ISTE NETS - Digital Age Skills

Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
Understand and use technology systems
Select and use applications effectively and productively
Troubleshoot systems and applications
Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

Next Generation Science

4-PS3-4: Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
5-PS1-3: Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Last Wednesday, 32 workshop students split up in groups and received a bag with an LED, a battery pack, batteries,  & alligator clips. No instructions. Out of the 7 groups, 5 presented me with a lit up LED, at which point they got 2 more LEDs & several more alligator clips....~20 students in K-5th grade worked collaboratively to construct series circuits using good old curiosity. Unfortunately, the other 2 groups were doing everything right with no luck. Even with brand new batteries & LEDs (possibly old battery packs) through no fault of their own got frustrated and asked to stop. Most of them ended up sewing. 
Lesson learned by me: test ALL the material next time - I didn't test all the battery packs.