Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We are the Champion, my friends!

Creativity + Ingenuity + Hard Work = A Champion.

Let me set the scene for you:

Wednesday, January 28th- I receive a call from the school. Alyssa's eczema on the back of her legs is acting up. It is making it difficult for her to walk. She is in a lot of pain and would like to come home. I out of concern for my daughter of course agree. I pack up the other two kidaroos, zip off to school, and Alyssa is safely at home by 12:00.

* Afternoon classes missed- Content, music, and reading stations

Wednesday, February 4th- Alyssa is in a panic. She had her Content class again today and was told that there was an assignment given the week before. She shows me the assignment. Alyssa must build a gravity pulled simple machine. No pre-made or box sets are allowed to be used. The machine must be built out of materials from around the house. Additional, she must write a One page report on the project. Included in the report: Summary of how she built her machine, what worked, what didn't work, what would she change if she could do it again, what are some things she did that could give her an advantage when racing the machine, and What she learned from creating her own machine. All these things not only need to be written in report form, but memorized, because she has to give a speech on the subject when showing her machine to the class. Due Date: Thursday, February 5th. hello!

We set right to work, pulling out anything we can find that could be used to build a derby car like, simple machine. The final materials used include an empty baby snack container, tinker toy sticks and wood discs, yellow spray paint, hot glue, feathers, googly eyes, paper nose, yellow masking tape, magnetic tape, screws and washers, and of course an electric drill.

We drilled holes in the bottom of the food container, spray painted the container and lid, slid the tinker toy sticks through the holes and attached the wood discs as wheels. Next the feathers were glued to the back of the machine. Alyssa took the lid off and stuck magnetic tap to the inside of the lid. She then magnetized the metal washers and screw to the tape and snapped the lid back on. yellow masking tape firmly attached the lid to the container. The machine was now front heavy which would assist in the gravity pull. Just for fun, her machine was given a face. Alyssa proudly called her machine Turbo Tweety, and it really looked like tweety bird zooming down our pre-test ramp.

Thursday, February 5th- With report and Turbo Tweety in hand, Alyssa arrives at school. Her presentation goes well, and the machines are set aside until they can be raced the following Monday.

Monday, February 10th- The day of the Simple Machine Derby. The races are done in Heats. Turbo Tweety Wins all her heats. The Quarter Finals, and Semi-Finals are a breeze. Now it is the Final. Turbo Tweety and her apponent are placed at the top of the ramp. The marker is pulled and the race is on. Turbo Tweety's feathers flutter proudly in the wind. After 3 intense seconds, Tweety rolls across the finish line in Second Place. Okay so she didn't win, but for Alyssa this was a huge victory. She is thrilled that she beat out all but one of her classmates, when she only had one day to build her machine, and they had an entire week. Her Machine, along with the winners, will be on display in the school library for the next month. We knew you could do it Tweety!


Krista said...

Way to go! Talk about ingenious!

jamie t. said...

That is awesome! Very good work

Heather said...

Congratulations - I see a bright future in an engineering field.
That, or cartooning. Either would be fun. :)

Dawn Walterscheid said...

Good job! I love the feathers!

♥The Three Bears♥ said...

Well done! great creativity on her part! Love your blog!