Moving Bots at Figment Creative Labs

 

moving bots, draw bots, robots, diy, kids art, kids crafts, STEM, STEAM, Figment Creative Labs, Austin Texas, Art Camp, pool noodle crafts, vibration, motion, early education, learning through play, hands on learning

We made some fun draw bots and moving bots this week at Figment summer camp.  It was a great activity to show the kids how vibration creates movement.

What you need:

  • Regular sized pool noodles (Can be found at Dollar Tree during summer season for $1 each.)
  • Electric generic Dollar Tree toothbrushes $1 each, comes with two AA batteries that you will need.
  • Markers and masking tape if you want to make them draw bots.
  • Scrapbooking Brads  and Pipe Cleaners for embellishment
  • Possibly toothpicks at your own risk.  They make great legs as we found out in video above if noodle is placed on it’s side.  My son was making a roach to scare me.

What to do:

  1. Put batteries in toothbrush.
  2. Cut the floatation noodles the length of the toothbrush.
  3. Have kids pick their color.
  4. Have the kids feel the vibration of the toothbrush when they turn it on.
  5. Have them place the toothbrush in the hole.
  6. Tape 3-4 markers around one of the motion bots and show the kids how the vibration makes the draw bot move in circles.
  7. Have the kids decorate their bot with brads, pipe cleaners, or in other ways.

moving bots, draw bots, robots, diy, kids art, kids crafts, STEM, STEAM, Figment Creative Labs, Austin Texas, Art Camp, pool noodle crafts, vibration, motion, early education, learning through play, hands on learning

 

DIY Lava Lamps -Figment Creative Labs

lava lamp, lava lamps, diy, homemade, STEM, STEAM, Science, Early education, Figment Creative Labs, Austin, Texas, Los Water Bottles, groovy, art class, summer camp

Today at Figment summer camp we made DIY Lava Lamps.  It was a super easy and fun activity, that teaches kids about molecules and density, in a pretty fantastic way.  Here is a quick How To!

-Please note that this has been edited.  We realized after the lesson that more oil and less water works better.  So photos do not match the updated instructions.

What you will need-

What to do-

  1. Drink the Voss water.
  2. Coat label with 100% Acetone.
  3. Scrape wording off with scraper.  (Use caution when working with sharp blades.  This is a job for an adult.)
  4. Fill bottle 1/4 full with distilled water.  (A funnel comes in handy.)
  5. Add a drop of food coloring.
  6. Close and swirl well.
  7. Add 3/4 bottle with oil.
  8. Add Alka-Seltzer to watch the bubbles travel.  Or you could just flip bottle slowly.
  9. Hot glue cap shut when you are done with the Alka-Seltzer play for spill safety.
  10. Place in a window to illuminate.

Why does oil and water not mix?

Oil is less dense than water, so it always floats to the top.  The molecules don’t mix.



Figment Creative Labs Visit To Lentswe Le Moriti Primary School In Africa

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, Amber Scardino, primary school,

When I found out my family was  going to get the chance to visit Africa, I knew that I wanted to give back in some small way.  I felt so fortunate that my parents were able to bring us on such an amazing adventure.  I wanted my kids to see how other children around the world live and experience our differences and similarities.  My family lives everyday creatively and since I am an art teacher, my kids are surrounded by art supplies to use whenever they like.  Not everyone has that luxury, so we packed up some art supplies to share and set out on our journey.  We had no idea what we would find when we got there or who we would meet.

We stayed at a camp in the heart of the Pitsani Reserve, a wildlife conservancy nestled in the much larger North Tuli National Wildlife Reserve in Botswana. My mom told the manager of the camp, Mr. Piet Van Rensburg Sr., that I was an art teacher and wanted to give some local children art supplies.  He suggested we visit the Lentswe-Le-Moriti Primary School that his long time friend and Tuli Reserve manager, Quincy graduated from.  Quincy gave the school a heads up that we would come by the next day and our guide, Cydrilic (Cedric) drove us.

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,

The name of the village is Lentswe Le Moriti which means, stone in the shade.  We visited their primary school which has 53 kids, preschool age – grade seven.  When we arrived we were greeted by a teacher and the grounds keeper.  They gave us a warm welcome and invited us into the headmaster’s office to share all of the school’s awards with us and tell us about their school.

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,

awards, Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,
Quincy, former primary school graduate in far background.

They had so many awards and were so proud of all that the children had accomplished.  The headmaster was actually away accepting yet another award for the school!  They introduced us to the head of the PTA (an older woman that later shared her beautiful singing voice with us) and talked about how important community involvement was in the school.  The groundskeeper pointed out all of greenery around the school that she is responsible for, and was equally proud.  All of this remarkable work coming from a school with no electricity and minimal resources.

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,

When we arrived the children were finishing their lunch time and washing their dishes outside.

When we visited the preschool class I fell in love and I am sure you will too.  Two of the girls shared a poem about education with us.

“Education is the key to the future.”

Then the head of the PTA shared an amazing song about Botswana’s 50 years of freedom with us.

How could you not love these people and their smiling faces, and radiating joy?  I wished that I had brought more supplies.  I knew that 14 bags was not enough for 53 children. We later decided to split up the art supply bags among the different classrooms. The preschool teacher showed me the learning tools that she worked with and once again was quite proud.


We visited their garden.

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, garden, primary school,

The large garden was surrounded by a tall stone fence to keep the elephants out.

They grow oranges that they sell to raise money for the school, but the baboons and monkeys come in and steal the oranges since the electric fence above the stone fence is broken with sections missing.  I was so proud that my dad offered to donate money to join Piet’s efforts in fixing the electric fence to protect the garden.  This made our visit worth it to me.  We contributed more and the teachers were very excited.

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, kids, children, primary school,

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,

Playground, let the children play, Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,
This is their playground.  The teacher said that they really enjoy playing in it.

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,
We Care. Do You?

If you are interested in donating to this amazing school, you can send supplies or donations to Piet Van Rensburg (SNR) (attn: Primary School) PO Box 8000 Pretoria 0001  (He has a PO box in the village post office and says that he will deliver anything that arrives to the school.)  I am planning to keep in touch with Mr Piet to see that the fence gets mended and watch the school as it grows.  We felt a strong connection to the people of this village and the kids that will become the future of Botswana.

Mr Piet is planning to have the children of this village visit the reserve to teach them about animal conservation and the negative affects of poaching.

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, Teachers are awesome, donation, primary school,
Look at these fun teachers!

Lentswe Le Moriti, Come and sit in the shade, Figment creative labs, Austin TX, Botswana Africa, African relief, school supplies, donation, primary school,