What was your hands-on? Why was it awesome?

Showcase Forums Café Tuesday What was your hands-on? Why was it awesome?

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    RJ MontanoRJ Montano

    Please take just a minute to tell me why the hands-on at your last café was awesome!

    Michelle HallMichelle Hall

    One of our best hands-on in NM was creating and exploring holograms. We had an artist and scientist who specialized in holographic imagery lead the cafe. They were in their mid-sixties and still rooted in the 60’s. Their language, dress, and world view were classic sixties and the kids enjoyed them very much. The talk focused on the big idea that we do not see objects, we see reflected light off of an object. Thus, if you can modify how light is reflected off an object you can change the perceived color and shape.

    We used light filters and different types of light to see how the image in our eye changed for different objects. The artists had been commissioned to create holograms of many famous people. The one they were most proud of from the artistic sense was of Ronald Reagan that is in his Presidential Library, but it kind of ate their heart out, because they did not like his politics.

    So, the presenters were “cool”, the hands on was “cool”, and kids walked away with new perspectives on life, history, art, and science.

    Ann BoesAnn Boes

    @Michelle – sounds like a great cafe!

    A couple of weeks ago I posted to the forum asking for ideas for the hands-on for our Bionics and Brain Computer Interface cafe. I wanted an activity that would relate more to the brain computer interface than to the bionics side of things. I didn’t come up with anything so we went ahead and did the activity that Gateway TSC had done with this same speaker, building a hand with moving fingers made from index cards, straws, string and tape.

    The kids loved it! Most of them didn’t finish by the time our 2 hr cafe ended so we told them they could bring the materials home to finish. I actually told them several times as I kept thinking they hadn’t heard me, because nobody moved. They were having such a great time sitting and talking with each other while building their hands that they stayed late to finish. I think they just really liked spending time together doing a simple project in a relaxed setting.

    I was impressed with the design of the hand. I think we’re going to animate them with some servos.

    Teen Science Cafe at Lab:Revolution

    Michelle HallMichelle Hall

    @Ann Boes – Thanks for sharing Ann. I once created a working knee and ankle with straws, paper clips and some other items. It was an activity out of a kit based science series from Lawrence Hall of Science or something like that. We had a blast working on that challenge and learned a lot. Can you post a link to the activity you used so that others might also use it?

    Ann BoesAnn Boes

    I haven’t been able to find a link to it online. If I were able to upload an attachment I could post that. Sean – do you know if it’s online somewhere? It’s called “Making Your Own Biomechanical Hand” from The STEM Center at Southern Illinois University.

    Michelle HallMichelle Hall

    @Ann Boes – Is this the activity?


    Looks like fun and a great learning experience!

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