Wednesday, November 20, 2019

 This activity with the Ladybugs and Thunderbolts is week one in the creation of mazes. Choosing between many materials, Bumblebees and their buddies had to design and engineer their mazes, create them from available materials, rethink and rework as needed. Once students had what they considered to be a working maze, they tested it with a marble, then revised and reworked again. Once they have a successful maze, part 2 will be to use Hexbugs (little robotic bugs) to try their mazes and see if they can fined a way through.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

 On First Friday some of the middle school friends came by to play board games with the Bumblebees. Board games help practice strategy, turn taking and social interaction. Some of the games required adding and subtracting, critical thinking, and tracking. Students worked on mental agility, thinking ahead, actions and consequences, making tough choices and teamwork.

 Happy Halloween! Bumblebees had a wonderful celebration! Thanks especially to Jessy and Michelle for our spook-tacular party, to the Tates for bringing the amazing dinosaur and to all who helped make a day to remember. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

 With our mentors and the Ladybugs, Bumblebees worked on the design and construction of ramps. Ramps are one of the simple machines also called inclined plane. Students worked with the science of physics by creating a stable structure along which objects could travel. They had to engineer their ramps to create speed and yet not allow the marble or car to jump the track before reaching the end. They evaluated the materials they chose to work with, determined necessary and appropriate elevation and compared that to speed. They worked with friction and angles to create  the fastest, most successful ramps for marbles and cars to travel on.

Monday, October 21, 2019

 A wonderful day at the pumpkin farm was followed by the mentors helping the Bumblebees and Ladybugs make discoveries about their pumpkins. They explored harvesting at the farm, picking their own pumpkins, harvesting radishes and apples. They fed chickens and a goat and noticed the rectangular pupils on the goat, rode in a wagon pulled by a tractor that was driven by the farmer and petted a chicken who then laid an egg right before their eyes! They saw bees in hives and the tiny wild apples that taste terrible but are necessary for the pollination of the larger apples. The mentors helped with weighing and measuring, discovering the circumference and whether or not the pumpkins could float. On the way to the discoveries, students estimated values and measured using both standard and non-standard instruments. They counted the pumpkins ribs, knowing that each rib on the outside reflected a row of seeds on the inside.

Monday, October 7, 2019

On First Friday for October our study subject was memory. Students experienced many different 
ways to use, expand and increase their memory. They tried lots of games, looked at optical illusions and created their own, and many participated in a memory experiment with the middles school class. Afterward, some middle school students came in to our room to talk about memories that are personal to each of us and memories we all share.

 This activity with the Ladybugs and Thunderbolts is week one in the creation of mazes. Choosing between many materials, Bumblebees and th...