Friday, March 15, 2013

Tumblewood Challenge

This week we started the writing PSSA's. Yes, it's already that time of year again.  While the 5th and 8th graders were hard at work writing their little hearts out, the 6th and 7th graders got to work on a project together.  This year, Morgan organized a challenge...the Tumblewood Challenge to be exact.

The challenge: Build a structure using only balsa wood and wood glue (and a few other tools to cut/trace). This structure will then be sent rolling down a ramp to see how far it will roll. Then, the ultimate challenge! Weights will be added to the structure, little by little, to see how much weight it will hold.  

Do you know how much weight a small, round balsa wood structure will hold?  I bet you Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar that your guess would be less than what our Tumblewood Champions structure held.  Keep reading to find out the winning weight....

The balsa structure is under all those weights!

Rolling a structure down the ramp

Too nervous to watch! Notice the structure bowing under the pressure

It's very nerve wrecking!

Brian getting the best angle
Anticipating the next weight

And finally....the structure that held the most weight.....

330 POUNDS!!! What??! Did you guess anything close to that? You should have heard the cheering in the room, surprised us all that it would hold that much! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

All School Science Museum

Our 2nd annual All-School Museum was held right before Spring Break.  This year our theme was SCIENCE and each classroom chose a different topic to highlight.  With infinite topics to choose from, I knew each classroom would be totally different....and they didn't disappoint! 

Team M/R: The Science of the Circus.  It was here you could learn about what muscles are used to do trapeze work, how escape artists prepared for the acts both mentally and physically, how to ride a unicycle, and how hypnosis is performed.  There were also some clowns running around, I didn't stay in that room long! 

You can't go to a circus and not have popcorn!

The muscles used by a trapeze artist

Demonstrating an escape artist trick

Team Sboogle: Cave Science.  All students in this class were trained to be tour guides through the cave.  The three parts of the cave were depicted in the room starting with the lightest part going to complete darkness.  Tour guides talked to "tourists" about cave animals and formations that can be found throughout.  I tried to take pictures, but it was really difficult to depict the coolness of this cave, you just had to be there!

Tour guides 

This part was totally dark and looked super cool, definitely felt like a cave

Team M/K: Great Inventions.  Students created their own great invention and demonstrated it for onlookers. Have you ever realized you forgot to turn the light off after getting all warm and snuggly in your bed?  Do you wish there were an easier way to clean up dust mites? Do you want an easy, yet stylish, way to carry your cell phone?  Well, these kids had the answers to all those questions and more!

Sunscreen Invention

Easy way to open a bag of chips 

Remote control duster

The Light Turneroner Invention

Team A/A: The Green House.  Educating us on the "green" way of living! The room was sectioned off demonstrating how to live greener in the living room, bathroom, garage, kitchen and so on. It was fascinating to see what homemade items can be substituted for things that we buy pre-made and full of chemicals in the store.  Did you know that you can use a mixture of cooking oil (1 part) and water (6 parts) in a spray bottle to act as your own chemical free version of PAM cooking spray?  Did you know homemade laundry detergent gets stains out better than store bought detergent? There is proof, the student showed it! I also got a cinnamon skin treatment that left my hand feeling quite soft.  Who doesn't like home remedies?!  Students also talked about things such as hydropower, solar energy, electric cars and more. 

It's pretty amazing how this school is transformed on the day of the museum. The students and staff (and, occasionally, parent volunteers) work so hard to create and demonstrate the topics chosen, they literally rebuild their rooms to create the perfect atmosphere.  It really is worth stopping by to check out the next time we have one, you won't see anything like it anywhere else!