More Scarecrow Structures

Our students have been a roll with creative scarecrow ideas. They have been using unconventional materials to build unique scarecrows that we can’t resist showing off.

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A scarecrow drawing was transformed into a mask after using a paper punch.

 

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The Lego scarecrow has long arms for the birds to land on.

 

Even scarecrows built from blocks all look different:

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This scarecrow has two tall yet sturdy legs.

 

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This scarecrow includes elements of color and texture to attract birds.

 

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Students worked together to create a large, detailed scarecrow: notice the shoelaces on his feet! They are hiding a ticking timer in his arm to scare off birds.

 

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Inspired by all the scarecrow designing and building, a student decided to draw a crow!

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Scarecrow Study

To prepare to build our school scarecrow, students have been learning about the history of scarecrows and examples of durable materials.

Students shared what they knew of scarecrows’ design and purpose, and we learned that children in medieval Britain used to act as their own scarecrows! They would stand in the fields and wave their arms to scare away birds. This and other historical instances of humans acting as scarecrows led to our more modern interpretation of scarecrows dressed in human clothes, with lifelike faces. Scarecrows are still used today, and often use technology to help scare off birds with noises and movement.

We designed scarecrows using a variety of supplies in the MakerSpace WonderLab.

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A scarecrow puppet

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A scarecrow face designed with Tangram pieces – she even added a white moustache!

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Magnaflex pieces created a flexible dancing scarecrow

 

Students talked about durable materials, and what we could use to make our scarecrow last outside for two months. Students tested different materials for durability, and built sturdy scarecrow structures that were tall, yet tough to knock over.

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Our tallest scarecrow yet!

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A sturdy scarecrow with small arms – less room for the birds to land!

 

Youngblood Studio: Visiting Artist

Visiting artists from Youngblood Studio, Tylur French and Amanda Nalley, gave a presentation about being working artists and shared some of the projects they’ve created, such as sculptures at Overton Park, structures at the skate park, and artwork for Le Bonheur and St. Jude hospitals.

Whether they are working on a large project or a smaller scale, Mr. French starts with an idea, then takes to paper with a loose sketch. A partner in the studio transforms the sketch into a detailed watercolor piece. From there, Ms. Nalley uses computer mapping to see how the completed piece might look and how it can be assembled.

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The concept changed slightly between the watercolor stage and the finished piece. Mr. French explained how projects can take several years and go through multiple design changes.

After the presentation, Mr. French and Ms. Nalley facilitated a scarecrow brainstorming session with Lower and Upper Elementary students. Each student sketched one to three ideas for Lichterman Nature Center’s Scarecrow Contest, then came back together as a group to explain their thought processes.

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Some students were very specific about how to build their scarecrows. There were many innovative ideas that incorporated technology, movement, and even trap doors!

Our students’ designs were creative and unique. Since it would be too hard to pick just one, Youngblood Studio is going to create composite designs, meaning they will take aspects of everyone’s ideas to be incorporated into our scarecrow.

Youngblood Studio will send three composites back early next week, and the school will vote for their favorite. Then we will choose what materials to use and decide how to manage our workload. We plan to start building at the end of next week, with all students from Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary helping out.

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Clockwise from top left: Mr. French answers questions about being a working artist; Mr. French and Upper Elementary students check out the scarecrow frame; Ms. Nalley and a student have a great time with the sketching process

A bonus quest: Students learned that Mr. French hid a golden squirrel eating a diamond in the bike arch at Overton Park. Try to find it whenever you visit the park!

A Little Bit of Everything with Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary students also had a chance to explore MakerSpace activities before lessons begin. They divided their time pretty equally between the WonderLab, the GeniusLab, and the LegoLab.

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After building a two-level structure, students guessed how many people could fit inside, and then climbed in – carefully!

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Sending commands to “play fetch” with Chip, the robot dog, who we proclaimed to be the MakerSpace mascot!

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Check out our Instagram (@lamplighterschool) to see a video of the mischief Chip got into.

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Trial and error with the Van de Graaff Generator to see what materials conduct electricity.

 

Lower Elementary Exploration

Before more structured lessons and projects begin, students from the Lower Elementary classroom had a chance to explore everything the MakerSpace has to offer.

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Partners worked to build the most elaborate MagnaTile structure using all of the pieces.

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Newton’s Gravity Game requires players to get five balls of the same color into a row, but the balls are constantly moving so you have to stay vigilant!

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Four students worked together to build a tall marble run.

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Laser Maze challenges give students an end point, but they have to figure out how to place all the mirrors and beam splitters in order to light up the goal and complete the challenge.

It was interesting to see what activities the students naturally gravitated towards, and how they used their knowledge to take on new tasks. We are looking forward to seeing how they apply this balance of wisdom and imagination to upcoming projects!

The First Day

The first day of school means the first day of MakerSpace!

The kindergarteners came for Open Lab, which means they were the first students to explore our new MakerSpace. Open Lab is a chance for classes to explore different works in the MakerSpace and build freely. Today the students worked in the WonderLab.

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Students worked together to build a marble run from the ground up.

 

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Another student decided to make a marble run out of blocks.

 

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We used a timer with the spinning top work to see which size would spin the longest. The tiniest top was the winner – it kept spinning for one minute and fifty-seven seconds!

 

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Building sand castles with kinetic sand had a learning curve – the sand is so soft, it stuck in the molds. Students used trial and error until they were able to create an entire sand fort!