Tuesday, June 13, 2017

School Maker Faire 2017 at Black Pine Circle School

On May 26th, BPC had it's first School Maker Faire. This is a post in progress celebrating this event. If you subscribe and are getting an update, know that this post is still under construction! :)

7A-1 Color Mixing Lamp (need to write & publish)
7A-2 Turning Old Tires Into Seats
7A-3 Not completed
7A-4 Cardboard Tank
7A-5 Branch Light Fixture
7A-6 Pin Board Board Game 
7A-7 3D-Printed Fidget Spinner
7A-8 Using the Bridge (AR/VR/MR) Headset 
7A-9 A Bamboo Bow and Arrow 
7A-10 PVC RE-Curve Bow 
7A-11 Metalworking with Field's Metal 

7B-1 We Made A Magazine in Two Weeks! 
7B-2 The Great British Henna Post 
7B-3 Tales of the Duct Tape Chair (AKA Duct Tape fixes everything)
7B-4 Bath Bombs
7B-5 1920's Style Dress
7B-6 3D Printed Gear Fidgets
7B-7 Photoshop Stories
7B-9 Wooden Catapult
7B-10 Foam Glider Fails for Life 
7B-11 Flower Photography

7C-1 Chibitronics Constellation (need to update)
7C-2 Eternal Terrarium
7C-3 Screen Printing for Awareness
7C-4 Whittling Wood 
7C-5 Chicas Skateboards
7C-6 Building a Rube Goldberg Machine 
7C-7 Duct Tape Hammock 
7C-8 Making a Cardboard Bungalow
7C-9 Desktop Destruction- turn your favorite lunchtime fruit into a deadly weapon!
7C-10 SHACHIHOKO - A sewable LED shirt

6A-1 Fish Farming (need to finish & publish)
6A-3 Aquaponics
6A-4 BPC Maker Faire Project: A Energy Effective Home
6A-7 mini greenhouse
6A-8 The Carbon Footprint of Food
6A-10 Gone Fishing 

6B-1 If you need water, MAKE it 
6B-2 Creating Awareness about Biking 
6B-5 Eco-Friendly House In A Hill
6B-6 Our Ocean Wave Of Trash
6B-9 Vertical Garden (need to write & publish)
6B-10 Vegan Food

6C-1 Foot Powered Hand Dryer
6C-2 Recycled Planters
6C-4 Food Chain Dominoes (could use finishing)
6C-6 Attempt Your Own Bicycle Powered Blender.
6C-8 Pollution Monster

Endangered Species - Andy & Bodie

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Snapshot: 7A Popcorn Container Challenge

Last Thursday, 7B took their class to the garden for a design challenge. They were given a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper and challenged to construct a rectangular prisms popcorn container with the largest volume. They had access to scissors and tape. Their container was then filled with popcorn. 

There were lots of interesting ideas at the beginning:
-"All the volumes will be the same because we all have the same size piece of paper."
-"A taller container will hold more."
-"A container with the largest surface area on the bottom will be the biggest."

They went to work and as the containers were constructed and volumes calculated and recorded, they were able to refine their hypotheses. We will follow up on class this week with further analysis of their findings. 

Snapshot: 8A Food Deserts

Berkeley, CA
As a final project, I like to find a way to incorporate a social justice lesson into the eighth grade curriculum. Last year, the class spent the final weeks of the year tackling the question, "Is minimum wage a livable wage?" They explored by calculating living expenses for a year (rent, food, transportation, entertainment, etc) and then compared it to what you would earn if you were working a minimum wage job. They had a a guest speaker from the Human Resources department come and talk about the taxes and deductions that are taken from a pay check. In the end, we had a good debate/conversation about whether or not you can live off of minimum wage.

This year, the class took on the idea of food deserts. This is a project I have been tossing around for about a year. The essential question was, "What is a food desert? Who is impacted by food deserts?" We researched and defined a food desert. They looked at research about the impact of food deserts. For four classes, a group of students were charged with locating grocery stores on a set of maps from AAA of the Bay Area, Lake Tahoe, and Portland, OR. They had to cut out 1-mile radius circles to represent the reach of the grocery store. The areas that were not covered by the circles are defined as food deserts. These maps are not comprehensive because we were limited in time, but students were able to get a sense of how food deserts occur and who is impacted by these deserts. 

Our discussions centered around how they live in an region of the country were access to fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains is easy. They recognized the high density of markets and grocery stores is high in the Bay Area and that affluent areas had great overlap of circles. Some students were able to recognize living in Northern California is not representative of the issue of food deserts. If we had more time and I had planned ahead, we would have done a second round of maps that represent cities where food deserts are a significant issues, such as New Orleans, Atlanta, and Detroit, and compared maps with the Bay Area. I would extended this to look at grocery stores per capita and other ratios that might have helped us understand the issue. 

This activity turned out better than I had hopes and I was pleased with how we were able to use math to explore this topic. I look forward to refining and extending this project for future classes. 

If you would like to read more about what happened in Ms. Seto's math classes, please check out https://bpcmathseto.blogspot.com/
Oakland, CA

El Cerrito and Richmond, CA
San Franciso, CA

Lake Tahoe, CA
Portland, OR

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Snapshot: 8A Barbie Bungee Jump

Students are always asking,"When will I ever use this?" in math class. I do my best to give them real world contexts for the skills they are learning. In the 8th grade, we began the year learning about linear functions and figuring out how to graph them. To help make these skills real, the students did an activity where they had to use linear functions to figure out how many rubber bands a Barbie required to get the most thrilling bungee jump off QLab 201's balcony (16 feet).  Thrilling was defined as getting as close to the ground without actually touching the ground.  Here is a compilation of shots from our jump day. 

Thank you to Blake Hansen for the video footage and editing.

To see more photos and videos and to read more about the project, see this blog post.