Putting the twinkle in Tinkering

In first grade Ms. Penn introduced tinkering. She showed students a video called: Caine’s Arcade, about a student who made a whole arcade out of cardboard boxes and recycled materials. students got several boxes of recycled materials to choose from and were asked to make a machine or creation that would help the planet in some way.

This student created a robot that would scoop up garbage with his feet and clean up litter and polution.

Students imagined their materials and their various purposes, Cora Tallula invented a machine that could create great big murals for people. Jeremiah had a robot owl that scooped the pollution that people couldn’t see out of the air. Edwin’s music maker creates beautiful music for people who are feeling sad and need some cheering up.

Ophelia’s creation is a platform that feeds hungry animals and gives them a warm blanket if they are cold or have lost their fur for some reason. While you might not be able to tell what some of this stuff is at first glance, I loved this project for a number of reasons: 1. use of recycled materials that might otherwise go to waste, 2. emphasis on helping the earth in some way, and 3. the beautiful explanations and twinkling eyes of the inventors as they tried to make their ideas verbally clear to others. If anyone needs an owl robot to clean up pollution, I know a guy.

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