Sixth graders began their first design project working with Sketchup. We began the project by talking about the process of designing something utilizing an existing object as reference for measuring and then talked about possible project ideas. We came to the concept of designing our own chair as the project choice. Each person came up with a unique concept design and then constructed it using scale measurements. Each of the designs showed their own creativity and end product. We are planning to print the model designs and perform some stress testing and design assessment to determine ways to improve our project. The goal of the project is to understand that sometimes designs have to fail in order to be successful in the end! We look forward to the finished products.
Born in Arizona, Moved to Babylonia (King Tut), Dancin’ by the Nile, (Disco Tut), The ladies love his style, (Waltzing Tut) [… by Steve Martin]
Sixth grade students studied the chemical sedimentary rock Halite in science class and the process of mummification amongst the Egyptians and other ancient cultures in humanities class. Students learned that the drying and curing of meats with salt made it almost 100 times more valuable in ancient days. Students recreated the mummification process by measuring and then rolling chicken legs in salt, wrapping the legs in cheesecloth, and entombing the mini mummies for forty days in salt and clove beds. Not quite the process given King Tut, but similar in style.
Block printing is a process that creates a relief or stamp out of a material, which can be printed again and again using a medium such as ink. The sixth graders have been working on a project that involves carving patterns and shapes and then printing them in multiple colors and orientations. They started with a single block and designed two different images, one for each side. They then carved their patterns carefully using linoleum block carving tools and made sure to account for different types of lines and areas of negative space. Next came the printing process, which was more of a printing experiment. The students printed each side on top of the other in different colors and with different orientations. The prints were rotated, shadowed, staggered and flipped. The results are as unique and individual as the students themselves, and all are magnificent!
I still can’t believe how excited grade 3 through grade 6 students are about making dumplings for the Chinese New Year assembly day lunch. One of the third grade students even told me,” I am so happy we can make dumplings. I don’t want to just sit there eating. Making dumplings is more fun!”
Here you go! From all of the photos, I am sure you feel what students have felt. Or maybe more, if you would like to talk to them and let them describe what they have just experienced. Learning by doing. It all works here!
The Unquowa School Upper School Chorus performed the song I Have a Voice at last week’s assembly. When I first played this song for the chorus, they were immediately drawn to the simple and powerful melody and lyrics. We knew we had to perform this song. Since there is no written sheet music for the song, we had to listen to the recording many times to figure out the chord structure, melodies and harmonies. We also talked greatly about how this song has such a powerful message in such simple words. The song speaks for itself. We all have a voice. Each and every one of us. Please enjoy this wonderful piece of music!
The sixth grade class recently embarked on a new project-based learning activity, constructing a Menger Sponge also known as a fractal curve. The shape, as constructed, has an infinite surface area but zero volume! The Menger Sponge is built in levels: a level 0 sponge is a single cube; a level 1 sponge contains 20 single cubes; level 2 contains 20 level 1 sponges or 400 individual cubes; level 3 contains 20 level 2 sponges or 8,000 individual cubes! When we started this project, our goal was to construct a level 1, and we exceeded that in the very first week of the project! Students took cards home to construct in their free time. One student even went home and asked parents to collect enough cards to construct a level 1 all on her own! The persistence shown by all of the 6th graders has been impressive. Try to imagine getting all the way to the end of the level 1 and having it collapse – that happened! But they got right back to work and rebuilt. Now the students are on to the next goal – working in teams to construct a level 2 sponge!