We spent a fun day at the Traid warehouse in Wembley last week standing on the sorting belt and collecting 250 t shirts. It was amazing to see how much really good clothing gets thrown away by people. Although it did take us about 4 hours to find enough t shirts that were going to work for our Bags projects with Primary schools that are happening over the next few weeks. They had to be strong – none of the really thin cotton for us. And not too stretchy – otherwise the bags will just drag along the ground. And nice colours – I can’t imagine that 10 years old will be desperate to carry a pale grey or mushroom cotton bag! And of course we had to check the slogans and pictures on every single one. It’s amazing how many t shirts have pictures of girls in underwear or men smoking. But we managed it. And now we have just got to wash them. All. This week. Thank goodness the sun is shining!
Well what would you do with a sheet of plywood and some dowel? (and an amazing D&T teacher, a brilliant RCA student and 17 children?) We were lucky enough to be back at one of our favourite places last week – the spacious and well equipped DT block at Phoenix High School.
At the end of the February camp one of regular students, Beau, asked if we could make pinball machines. Well, we didn’t really have the time to create and arcade in 3 days but David Baker came up with a plan to make the next best thing.
All 17 children were given some wood, glue and nails and a worksheet. They discussed the challenges of making their own game, planned how and where they would put their traps and came up with a theme. They measured, sawed, glued and nailed accurately and creatively to create their very own version of the traditional wooden desktop game.
Led by Adam Findlay (ex-cabinet maker and now DT teacher) and ably assisted by Monika Muller (RCA) they worked really hard both in groups and alone to solve problems and find solutions.
It was wonderful to see their ideas taking shape and by Thursday afternoon we had 17 very different bagatelles! Ranging from Batman, through PacMan, and including Night Sky and beautifully sanded and varnished wood we almost did have our own arcade!
We’ve just finished a fabulous half term break where we’ve been designing and making passive amplifiers with a group of 9 to 13 year old students.
We started with a simple brief – I want to hear sound from my tablet/smartphone. We looked at passive amplifiers and how they work – testing a number of shop bought items until we felt we know what we wanted to make. The children then designed their own to work with their phones or tablets. They looked at the speakers on their tech and worked out how they would place the sound channels to make the most of the music they would play.
After working on this for a day it was time to create their designs in three layers of wood. They measured, sawed, cut, stuck, clamped and sanded until they had a speakersthat was just perfect for them.
Our final few hours were spent decorating and polishing so that our finished products looked as good as they sounded!
All in all another great success – 19 very happy pupils with 19 very different passive amplifiers!
Well done to everyone!