— In the News: Challenge within a chair’s construction

The Half Moon Bay Review published an article about our seventh graders’ project in the Innovation Lab: Challenge within a chair’s construction: Educator looks at everyday objects in a different way. They prototyped four chairs out limited materials as part of their Explorations and the results were remarkable.

Sea Crest School students were recently challenged to think outside the box — outside the cardboard box, to be exact.

As part of a semester-long exploration class, aspiring makers were required to enhance an old office chair using nothing more than masking tape, cardboard and hot glue.

The lesson took place in the Innovation Lab, a maker-space where tinkering is not only encouraged, it is expected.

“During the summer, I saw a lot of old chairs in the hallway that were going to be thrown out,” said Patrick Neary, Innovation Lab manager at Sea Crest School. “There was a lot of cardboard that was also going to be thrown out. I thought maybe there was a way to upcycle both slightly and see what we could do with them.

“It occurred to me that the curved, rotating chair was a common thing, almost in contrast with these big square boxes,” he continued. “One of the things that I was concerned with was challenging the kids about their basic assumptions about things.”

Before the course, most students would look at the chair and disregard it as a utilitarian object. After completing the project, it was clear that the students would no longer take the art of sitting for granted.

Innovation Lab Chair“To get started, the kids had to think about how does this chair come about?” said Neary. “Once they re-examined this common object, they could start to reinvent it.”

Part of that process included deconstructing a few samples in order to gain a clear understanding of how the chair worked.

Innovation Lab Chair“Some of the students used power tools, like drills, to pull out the screws,” said Neary. “The students then had to figure out how many screws were used and why.”

Once the kids understood how the chair worked, they were challenged to improve upon the design. Neary created four teams. Students drew lots to determine who was in each group.

“It was random,” said Neary. “Some students liked the partners they were grouped with, others had never really talked before as partners.”

The newly created groups started sketching out their ideas as they began working to build a better chair.

Once the drawing was complete, the makers-in-the-making moved into the physical world of construction.

“The students experienced obstacles of different viewpoints and agendas that required that the students collaborate, negotiate and corporate,” said Neary.

The students worked hard on their final designs, pieces of cardboard that were held together with nothing more than masking tape and hot glue.

The groups then presented their projects to a panel of judges that assessed the projects on the basis of collaboration, the mindful use of the materials, the overall design aesthetic, and the cleanliness of the final construction.

There was also one more catch, the completed prototype had to support the weight of the intended user, whether a student or an adult.

The results were stunning to say the least. One group opted for a minimalistic design going heavy on the masking tape. The end product was a sleek chair sure to hold up under the average adult. Others were more creative, adding butterfly wings, cup holders, and slots for books.

 

— Outdoor Ed (video)

What a week — Thanks to all who made it possible!


 

— Service Learning

By Wendy Connolly, Seventh & Eighth Grade History Teacher

Service learning is an important component to the eighth-grade History curriculum. The theme this year is Hunger and Poverty. Students started out learning about causes of hunger, Federal poverty lines, state poverty lines and how that compares globally.

Eighth graders did their first service at the San Francisco Food Bank where they learned about the issues of food insecurities in San Francisco and how food banks help. Each year the food bank distributes over 48 million pounds of food to over 225,000 people in San Francisco and Marin. Our students worked for four hours separating oranges. In the end, we boxed 25,000 pounds of citrus. It was a wonderful feeling and we all had fun doing it. If you are interested in working at the San Francisco Food Bank, go to their website. Families with children as young as 5 can volunteer.

Coastside-HopeThe eighth graders are currently working on Coastside Hope, Adopt a Family program. This year Sea Crest is adopting 10 families that are in need of clothes, toys and household items for this upcoming holiday season. Each eighth grader is connected with a grade level class and an adopted family from the coastside. Students are responsible for setting up all the items being asked for, meeting with teachers and classes to explain the program and organizing the items to be taken to Coastside Hope.

Each year it is wonderful to see the generosity and support of Sea Crest families for this local, charitable program!

 


 

— Athletics News

Over 100 Sea Crest student athletes competed in over fifty athletic events this fall, some playing more than one sport. We are proud of all our athletes and their families this season. A special recognition to our Girls teams: A1 Volleyball and Cross Country!

>> Sea Crest’s A1 Volleyball team finished the season as undefeated champions!

Sea Crest Girls Volleyball Team Championship

>> Sea Crest Girls Cross Country team finished second overall in the S.S.I.L. Championship Meet!

Sea Crest Girls Cross Country Team Championship

Congratulations Girls!


 

Seventh Graders’ Makey Makey Musical Instruments

What is a Makey Makey?

A Makey Makey is an invention kit that turns everyday objects into touchpads by combining them with electric circuits, alligator clips, USB cables and the internet. With Makey Makey projects, students can do art, engineering and everything in between!

Makey Makey started out as a project by two students at MIT Media Lab as an academic and artistic project. Now it’s both a business and a project with thousands of community collaborators, with more joining the ranks of inventors everyday.

Our Seventh Graders built Makey Makey musical instruments as part of the Explorations curriculum under the guidance of Ellyn Kohrs, Technology Integration and Computer Science Teacher. They made musical plastic animals, drum sets, a floor piano, a stuffed animal band and a foil key instrument.

They also had the amazing opportunity to share their inventions with Third Grade, who had a blast playing the instruments and learning about electronics, conductivity, circuits, programming and music!

 

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Connor made a drum set out of pipe cleaners and gold pin heads. The way the drum set is set up the crash cymbal is at the top left and the drums are in a triangle.

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Charles made a piano out of plastic animals. He has an entire key from middle C to high C. To play the piano you hold the earth and then touch the copper tape on top of the animals.

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Billy built a drumset with two drums, a high-hat and two drumsticks. It is made out of cardboard, copper, tape, pencils, aluminum foil, a makey makey set and chromebook. To play it, you hold the drumsticks without touching the aluminum foil and tap the copper.

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Conor’s instrument is a piano and the piano goes from A to G. The piano is made out of tinfoil wrapped around cardboard. To play his piano, you hold the earth which is the yellow alligator clip and you touch the cardboard wrapped in tinfoil and it makes the noise.

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Maisie made a piano out of carpet squares for stability wrapped in tin foil to be conductive. To play you take off your shoes and touch the aluminum foil.

Seventh Grade Makey Makey Musical Instrument

Mikalee demonstrating her stuffed-animal band and sharing important concepts, such as electric circuits and connectivity, with third graders while they were all playing music and having fun.


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