Another book by Leo Timmers (the author of Franky, one of my favorite Robot story's) which is just perfect for the Makerspace. Gus collects 'stuff', each of Gus's friends come to visit him at the garage and share their problem, Gus adds a bit of this and a bit of that to 'improve' and solve their problem. A great conversation starter and ignitor for a range of challenge stations. I set up 5 stations today - 'Build an Igloo' (A collaborative project), WeDo Lego kits (Problem solve, build and test), Robot Factory (Design, Create, Improve) a brilliant app which was free to download this week, Dash Robots (Build a track, Code and Test), Explosion Art (A bubbling Science experiment with an artistic twist.....DesignCreate, Improve,
Yet again learners choices surprise me during each session. In session one, 10 students (all boys!) chose the Lego building challenge, whereas in the second session with the next class no one chose the Lego station. The simple science experiment (with a twist) was a HUGE hit and would be very easy to do in a normal classroom environment.
I used trays to contain each students process (they are large xMotel serving trays which I use almost everyday for loads of things e.g. Dough, Lego etc). Students sprinkle Baking Soda, then drops of food colouring.......then using an eye dropper they squirt vinegar on top and stand back and watch the 'explosion'. While the mix is still wet they place a sheet of cartridge paper over top, press lightly and then peel off. The results were a raft of beautiful dyed mixes, some had raised dry edges of baking soda forming craters, whereas some were a very 'tie dyed' effect. It was wonderful watching students experiment with the reactions and effects and listening to them discussing the outcomes. Each of their artworks were unique and equally as beautiful.