Giving Engineering?

There is joy in serving Jesus!  Our theme of the week needs to be lived out in actions, so we looked around for a way we could serve someone.  As our morning meeting activity, teams brainstormed engineering challenges to bless our first graders, who have the most fabulous building area in their room.  Then the teams filled a bag with all the supplies needed for each challenge.

Shhh . . . we are secretly dropping off the mystery engineering bags every few days.  (For example, use these supplies to build the tallest thing you can.  Create something with wheels using these supplies.  Design your own robot to add to your building area.)  We can’t wait to see what they think as they try our challenges!

Meet Engineer Gabriel!

I’d like to introduce you to Gabriel, the astounding engineer of the Fanbot 3000 that heartily greets every young engineer as he or she enters our room this year.  As one of my former Sunday School students,  I offered him an engineering challenge this summer, and he took it on with great skill.  He is a passionate investigator, questioner, artist, and more.  Stay tuned for more blog posts from him.

Cliffhanger:  I “paid” him with engineering supplies such as wires, batteries, and switches, and wait until you see what he did as a scribblebot followup!

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Math is Everywhere!

Here’s a summer challenge for your brain.  Look around today and see if you can spot math in an unexpected place.

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We had to have some trees taken down around our house this week because they were making the roof rot with their shade and they were dangerous in storms.  Watching the loggers take them down safely was amazing.  One logger used a skidder and a very long wire cord.  The other did the saw work.  They had to be really careful because it is on a hill with the house on the downhill side, and the trees were very close to the house.

They planned their angles, used signs to communicate, tied the cord around the tree (you can see it if you look closely at the picture), and sawed the bottom of the tree with a wedge-shaped cut.  Then the skidder would pull on the cord to help the tree go in just the right direction.  It reminded me a lot of our Crazy 8s math club with the Stuffy Zip Line, using angles to make the stuffies go the fastest they could.

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What math questions come to your mind?  For example, we took down seven trees.  How many cords of wood do you think we got for this winter?  What additional information would you need to solve that problem?  (Another problem is how much water do you think we have had to drink while we’ve been cutting up all the logs and branches to clean up the neighbors’ yard?  Ha ha!)

Maybe you could share an unexpected math encounter with us on your blog or in the comments.  Math is everywhere!