Session two of this project focused on construction and the adaptation of buildings using different materials. By looking at and thinking about materials and structures as well as hands-on building activities we encouraged the class to think about strength, height and durability. The class also worked with conductive dough and electronic components to make their own sculptures complete with lights and sounds.
The room was set out with lots of different activities and the children were split into groups of 6 so they had a chance to try everything.
Each group had to work together to try and build the tallest tower they could using magnetic tiles. The tiles seem sturdy, but the higher you build the more you need think about the foundations and the structure. There was lots of whooping, crashing, cheering and shouts of 'oh noooooo!' as towers stayed standing or came hurtling to the ground.
In teams of 3 against the clock, the children had to build a structure using only spaghetti and tape which was strong enough to balance a marshmallow on the top. It was great to see how the different teams approached the challenge – some starting with a square base, some with a triangular and some with a more freeform approach. The finished structures varied vastly in shape and height, but they all stood firm. One of the difficulties was fighting the urge not to gobble up the marshmallow!
Stop Motion Animation
Using foam blocks and an iPad each group made their own stop motion animations focussing on structure and shape. The animations were made from tessellating foam shapes to create unusual structural patterns. The groups learnt how to use stop motion animation to document the structures. One of the groups made a volcano which they would like to install in the Nowhaus!
In pairs, the children looked at the basics of making a circuit using conductive dough. They experimented with LEDs and buzzers to see if they could make their circuits light up, make sounds or both! Using the conductive dough, they then created objects or furniture for the Nowhaus which using their knowledge of circuits they then added lights and sounds to.
The children were challenged to make a origami structures with only paper. The structures, if assembled correctly, can hold water. The idea was to look at the strength of paper and how this changes depending upon the form it takes. The children liked the idea of using the paper as lanterns or lights which could be hung from the ceiling. We all liked the idea of filling them with water and having a water bomb fight, but unfortunately we ran out of time!
Forming the NowHaus
At the end of the session, we wanted the children to start to form more concrete ideas of what kind of shape and form the house will take. We had a session jotting their 'big' ideas for the house, here are some that they came up with:
A mirrored ceiling
A giant disco ball light
Christmas tree lights in the ceiling
Triangle shaped windows
Next week we'll be having a session on 3D printing, pattern, as well as starting to nail down what the final house will look like.