Day 54: Lenses & Refraction Wrapup

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


“Before I turn the lasers on, what do you expect to happen to their paths as they pass through the glass lens?” Get a mental image…and…reveal. This, kids, is where we’re going with refraction.

What’s that sticky note in the upper right of the monitor? That screen is projected to the class and they are the due dates of three upcoming assignments.

In other news: apparently my next door neighbor surveyed his kids about class and one kid said he should “burn stuff like Ms. Hayes-Golding’s class” because the kid was highly jealous of our concave mirror play a few weeks ago.


Day 52: Homecoming

Friday, 24 October 2014

I’ve been trying to catch a good video of a pep rally wave so kids can calculate the wave speed and I lucked out today.

Homecoming is tonight and while I’m not excited at all about the heavily gendered traditions around homecoming King and Queen or the hyper-masculine football contest, I was excited about my chosen duty station at our homecoming festivities held during the day today: the cotton candy machine, which has the reputation of being the worst duty station a teacher can get. Little do they know. My logic: all the other stations involve discipline — keep the kids from leaving early, keep order at the cornhole game, maintain safety on the bouncy castle — whereas the cotton candy machine’s entire purpose is to deliver smiles to kids.

Day 50: Magic Trick

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I made a glass disappear today. Things I wish I had to make this a better trick: a small glass container without writing on it and more baby oil so I can use a larger beaker to submerge in.

What makes this great: ask your kids “why does the glass disappear in the baby oil?” Then dive into any pop culture invisibility you like: why they think Wonder Woman’s plane might be invisible, how Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak works, or some invisibility storyline I’ve not even considered.



Day 49: Pneumatics Board

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


We built a (working!) pneumatics system today at the robotics training class. The FRC pneumatics manual is the “textbook” for this weekly class. We had three students complete most of the building after about an hour of instruction on pneumatics basics. These are kids with very little building experience and I was amazed at how easily it all came together. This board will be on display in our robotics workshop to illustrate how pneumatic systems operate.

This day last year: Day 49: Ranking Task Warmup