Kindergarteners and First Graders Demo Project To Help Disabled at the 2015 White House Science Fair.
After chatting with their school librarian, a group of Girl Scout Kindergartners and First Graders in Tulsa, Oklahoma discovered last year that some people with disabilities have a hard time turning book pages. So the team of five Lego enthusiasts came up with the concept of a battery-powered page-turner in the hopes that those disabled people would have an easier time reading.
Exploring materials such as rubber, and the concepts of friction and force, they sketched out their idea and prototyped it several times until they managed to come up with a basic mechanism that was deemed good enough to be exhibited at a regional educational conference for librarians and educators. Then this March, the Girl Scouts found themselves in front of President Obama giving him a demo at the White House Science Fair.
The journey that the youngsters took from engaging in a casual conversation to inventing a new device is a well-worn one. The first pacemaker, for example, was created in part as a result of several lunchtime conversations the electrical engineer Wilson Greatbatch had with surgeons about the phenomenon of irregular heartbeats.
Discoveries and inventions originate from thoughts about the world around us. What conversations have you had with your children recently? Are there quotidian aspects of everyday life that your child asks you about … like why some clouds are “flat” and others big and fluffy like cotton balls? Or why jars with stubborn metal tops open after running the tops under hot water?
Your child’s thoughts and natural curiosity about the world around them are ripe to be plumbed for ideas for experiments.
Start talking to them about possible ideas for projects for Blossom Hill Elementary's annual Science Fair today! Go to our Resources page for links to ideas, and tools for idea generation, or have your child attend our brainstorming workshop on the Flex Room at 12.40 p.m. Wednesday, January 13th, 2016!
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