Boys & Girls Club activities - Winter 2009

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Jan 17, 2009
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Back at it with the Boys & Girls Club after school program.

I am just finishing up the winter session, in two different schools, with the following classes:

  • Magic - learning card tricks, slight of hand and some close up prop magic
  • Weird Science - Each week we explore different scientific principles. We've done air pressure, chemical reactions, electricity, friction, magnitisim, etc
  • Roller Coasters - we design roller costers using pipe insulation and marbles
  • Rubberband powered cars - Build cars from cardboard that are powered by wound up rubber bands
  • Flight Club - Each week we explore something different that takes to the air (paper airplanes, balsa airplanes, air powered paper rockets, kites, paper helicopters, etc)
  • Beginning model rocketry (this session we're building the Rhino)
  • Advanced rocketry (D-Nelson Tomahawk)
  • Plastic model building - This session we're building car models

It's been a very busy and productive couple of months, that's for sure. My Litchfield class (Flight club and rubberband cars) is a 5 week session which ended last week. Merrimack (all the other classes) is a 7 week program which ends this week.

I hope to get my photo albums up (I am actually behind schedule for 3 full sessions) but in the mean time, here are a couple of pix :)

- One of the more elaborate roller coasters using several of the elements required for the final coaster (turns, loops, spiral, hump and jump)
- Learning the "Double Glue" method of attaching fins. You will note that different kids selected different fin orientation for their models :)
- ONe of my long standing rocketry students finds different challenges in plastic model construction.
- Here we are gluing the wheels onto the axials of our rubber band powered cars
- In flight club we note the differences between the balsa gliders and the propeller driven balsa planes.





Here are a couple more photo's

  • Practise run for a rubber band car before the big race!
  • Working on the parachute for the Rhino
  • Detailaing and painting our cars

I can not emphasize enough the satisfaction you can get when involved with groups of kids like this. Whether through your boys & girls club, 4-H, Scouts, whatever. It is worth the time and effort that goes into it.

As I have said before, these particular classes I will remember for months. These kids will remember them for a life time...

Next session I have some new classes mixed in with my standards. To date my classes look like this for the winter/spring session:
  • Ukranian egg decorating - Learning the art and the tools for this traditional egg art form.
  • Survivor - We make tribes and I hit them with educational, physical and mental challenges for prizes
  • Miniature golf - We design different miniature golf courses and test them out. On the last day we build a 9-hole course for the rest of the school to enjoy
  • Wired - Teach the kids basic electricity and we design and wire up a model house
  • Beg and Adv rocketry. Beginners will do the Avalear while the advanced kids do the Nantucket Sound

It's going to be an interesting few weeks, I can tell you that! :)



Teachers are appreciative of classes too. On November 22, 2008 I taught a rocketry workshop at Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama to 24 high school science teachers. I had them all day and along with the general overview I took them through an egglofter building session where they launched and timed their flights. I did this class as a TARC primer and invited them all to form teams even though it was just a week until the deadline. I was excited to learn as a direct result of the workshop, there are three more teams from that area of our state.

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Wow! That's great! Speaking of TARC, I was just invited to be the mentor of our local high school TARC team. They are running a bit late, but have some great students in the team, so here's hoping :)