Indigo Student Post: Kaia

Last Friday was a celebratory end to our explorations on kites, from making, flying , and testing them to spending time on the finer details of designing them. Our exploration culminated in the hanging of the Ice Dragon Kite, a symbol of Indigo Band that represents each of us in the whole.

Drawing, painting, and finishing the kite took time and practice. We reviewed geometric principles of circles, triangles, angles, and kites. We reviewed how to correctly use a compass and read a protractor accurately. We applied these skills directly in designing geometric patterns to make up the body of the kite and in constructing the panels themselves. We also talked about the waste that was created when making a circle and other methods for being conservative with our materials.

Below is a blog post from Kaia explaining her process of designing and building her section of the dragon kite:


“Last week we went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with my band (Indigo) and our neighboring band Amber, to practice our visual thinking strategies to help us with the following weeks. In the same week, we started exploring kites and experimenting making our own. That Friday, we went to Bernal Hill and tested them out.

Last week, we agreed that we should  make a decorative dragon kite. Each band (Indigo and Amber) would make there own dragon. In order to do so, we reviewed the basics in geometry, on the whiteboard and on Khan Academy. We practiced how to find the area, circumference, radius and diameter of a circle. We learned what formulas to plug your numbers into. For example to find the area of a circle, you square the radius then times it by pi. We will need to know this because the most important part of the dragon kite is its body, which is made up of cardboard circles. It is important to know how to calculate the area so that we know how much material we need and how much is being wasted. That was probably my favorite thing we did so far. I really enjoy getting a concept and being able to practice it without any mistakes, and being able to explain it well enough. It means I’ve learned it.

Back to the dragon kite, we are still in the process of of making the body, which involves making geometric shape design inside the circle that we each have so carefully made. To do this we are using protractors, compass and calculators. Earlier in the week we learned how to use these tools, and how to find the right angles for the shape you want to create. For example, if you wanted to make an nine sided shape (nonagon) you would first draw the radii of the shape, facing towards the top. Then you would divide the number of sides you want by 360, since we are working with a circle. What ever answer you get is the angle you want. You would get 40 in this case.

Next, you take the protractor and line it up with the line you drew at the beginning. Once you find the 40, mark it. Then draw a line from the mark to the middle using a ruler. Do the same thing but every time just line the protractor up with previous line you just made. After you got nine lines, connect them from the edge of the circle. Ta da! Nonagon!

In my design, I have two nonagons, one square and one triangle. I have them overlapping in different ways to make a cool design. Now all I have to do left is to make it pretty. On monday, we read this poem called “I Am From” by George Ella. It’s about where the writer was from, what his house looked like, his family, all starting with, I am from. We all rewrote this poem with our own stories. We are supposed to incorporate this into our dragon kite design, by drawing each thing from our poem in the spaces between the shapes.

One of the parts asked for two family members, and I put my two guinea pigs, Milou and Musli. They’re in the bottom right part of the square. It also asked for a plant that connects with you in some way. I chose a ginkgo tree because it used to be the tree that lived outside my old house. Lastly, it said to describe your house, and I put dark wood, because that’s the first thing you see when you walk in. There are many more but I’m not going to explain them all.

I think the most challenging part of this project was not getting confused with all of the numbers, shapes and angles. We did this exercise to make the ring to support the circle frame. You had to find the area of the circle, the ring, the smaller circle, the square and how much was being thrown away. All doing this by knowing these three numbers, the square was 12 by 12, the radii of the big circle had to be six and had to be one inch thick. This would have been easier IF, I had taken better notes. And didn’t get carried away with writing my peers names in cursive.

That being said, next time I will take my notes in a more orderly fashion and make it easier to read for the sake of my teacher (and me!). I think that will help with my thinking process and help me understand what I am doing, and hopefully help me become an improved learner.”

Following the creation of the panels, we spent the afternoons last week creating a head for the dragon, figured out how to hang it, and finishing up some minor details. It now hangs beautifully in front of our band space! Big thanks to Kaia for authoring a wonderfully detailed post.

Thanks for reading!




Learner Engagement, Intrinsic Motivation & the Brightworks Homework Policy

Lets talk about homework, or in the case of Brightworks, lack of homework. img_0802

The case against homework first flared up in 1900, led by the Ladies Home Journal. Back then the magazine described homework as “A National Crime at the Feet of American Parents” and claimed that children were “permanently crippled” by the pressure of schooling and homework. It urged that children under the age of 15 should not be in school more than four hours per day and should not be assigned any “home study”.

Since then there have been many debates about the value of homework, as our schools became increasingly focused on standardized tests as measures of achievement. For instance, some studies indicate that homework in high school improves achievement on standardized tests.

Recently, a public school teacher in Texas sent a note home to families stating that she would not be assigning any homework this year. Instead, she urges them to do the things that are proven to correlate with student success. “Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get to bed early.”

Which leads one to wonder – what is the measure of success if the outcomes are not quantifiable? img_0666

At Brightworks, we measure success by levels of engagement and interest. We measure success by improvement in critical thinking skills, ability to identify a problem and endeavor to solve it. We approach skills development as necessary to engage in our interests and higher order cognitive learning.

At Brightworks, what that teacher in Texas has just discovered is what we have known all along, that homework often keeps kids away from the things they need most to learn and grow: social engagement, trusting relationships, exercise, communing with nature, playing music, reading for pleasure and having down time.

One of our gurus on the topic of homework is Alfie Kohn , who writes extensively about intrinsic motivation and its role in learning. Kohn sums up the Brightworks homework philosophy best when he states, “The more one understands about learning, the less inclined one is to support homework. ” and “Homework persists in part because of adults’ distrust of children and how they’ll spend their time if given a choice.”img_1501.jpg

So, if we at Brightworks have a no homework policy, why do you so often see your children intellectually engaged and task oriented at home? They are reading the class novel assignment, on google hang outs with their classmates preparing a presentation or skypeing with an expert. They are calculating the distance to Mars, figuring out how to recreate a human skeleton out of recycled materials, writing a persuasive essay about why they want more field trips.

In short, the students at Brightworks are intellectually engaged in what interests them long past the six hours they spend on Bryant Street. No need for memorizing spelling words. Kids want to spell the words needed for that blog post or essay correctly, to get their point across. No rudimentary and rote math practice because they are practicing their math skills as a means to an end(how many straws are needed to get that tetrahedral kite to fly?) not as an end unto itself.

img_0599Since Brightworks families never have to ask , “Do you have homework?” or “Did you finish your homework?” I’ll close with a few replacement questions to find out what is engaging and of interest to your child at school.

  • What was the funniest thing that happened today?
  • Did anyone do anything super nice for you?
  • What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
  • Who made you smile today?
  • Which collaborator would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
  • What challenged you today?
  • Did anyone push your buttons today?
  • Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?
  • What did you do today that you are proud of?
  • What was your biggest challenge today?

(Questions gleaned from the world wide web)









Magenta Visit to the Hiller Aviation Museum

Field Trip Blog, Part II

Last Thursday, in the afternoon, the Magenta Band went to visit the Hiller Aviation Museum. We saw all of the museum exhibits and also completed an hour-long flight simulation program. Below are pictures from this part of the field trip and students’ descriptions of their afternoon experiences.

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From Max Mercier: Walking into the Hiller Aviation Museum, if you love planes, is like walking through the gates of heaven. There are full-size planes and scale models everywhere, and it’s suffocating in the best way possible. Helicopters, jetpacks, parts of airliners, stunt planes, drones, they have it all. But by far my favorite thing about the Hiller Aviation Museum are the simulators. Aside from their main educational simulator, they have a Boeing 777 simulator, which you use to attempt a landing at SFO. I sat down in the comfortable leather chair, put my hand on the throttle and grabbed the yoke. Immediately I noticed just how sensitive the 777-300 really is. Even touching the yoke too forcefully caused a noticeable change in heading. I rose up to a higher altitude, flew over downtown Millbrae, and got myself lined up for final approach. At this point, I had three people gathered around me, saying things like “You’re not gonna make it!” and “You’re too far left!” But I kept my going. I pulled back the throttle, brought the plane to an airspeed of 170 knots, lowered my flaps down to 30 degrees, and held it steady as the runway got closer and closer. I finally brought the throttle all the way down, lifted the nose up, and set my back wheels on the runway perfectly. It was at this point where I questioned if music is what I should be focusing on right now—that landing was not too shabby.

From Ian: It was a cloudy day, and we were rushed up the stairs onto the cold metal bleachers. The instructor waved his model airplane frantically about, describing the dangers of flight. He described his stories of past pilots who had crashed flying inverted and sharing the controls with friends. Abruptly he stopped the discussion to explain how you “can’t fly like James Bond.” Gripping the controls with both hands, he gave a demonstration wagging them back and forth with a smug look on his face. Then, gripping them with one hand and another hand over the throttle and mixture controls, he proclaimed: “This is the correct way to fly!” With this, the conversation was over, and we were instructed to grab “flying buddies.” I grabbed my comrade Aidan, and we were hustled over to the cockpits. Starting the flight, Aidan flew gracefully in the air but, lacking the speedy decision making of a real pilot, he handed the controls over to me. After a short time, we immediately descended into a dive with me at the controls. We flew inverted after a short time. We heard a rattle from the engine, and we were stalling. Drifting towards the ground, I pulled back and recovered gracefully.
The instructor then grounded the aircraft, exclaiming that he would “never fly with us at the wheel.” Aidan got out of his seat in a sluggish fashion, clearly angry about my flying technique. “Back to the bleachers!” the instructor yelled about how the plane had to be “one inch from the runway and the dashboard of the plane,” and no more than “70 knots.” Then we went back into the air. Now at a course to land at the runway, Aidan was not listening to the instructor and disobeying the 1-inch command. At a course faster than 70 knots, he started his landing not center on the line. He touched down, skipping the white line and careened toward the side of the runway. We changed seats, and I was instructed to land at the runway. With graceful maneuvers, I moved from side to side to meet the white line. As I touched down on the line and turned off the engine, my task was complete.
sFor a final time we met at the bleachers, the instructor describing what he called a “bonus ride.” This ride went past the Bay Bridge and over Alcatraz and then under the Golden Gate. The flight was short, and back on the ground, he giddily pronounced us real pilots.

From Max Mayman: As Cory stared out the cockpit, a single drop of sweat fell from his chin onto the yoke. The rumble of the Cessna 172 was loud in his ear along with the radio he held next to him. As I watched Cory, I became the commentator: “We now see Cory approaching the landing strip… We have seen a very overly aggressive approach to the previous landing strips in other tournaments, but, this being the finals, we have to see if he will still make this mistake.” In his head, he repeated “70-1,” “70-1.” This was the line that Cory’s instructor had told him before the flight. “You must stay at 70 mph at all times when approaching the landing strip, and you see one inch under the runway in order to land safely.” His instructor’s words echoed in his brain as he closed his eyes. Pushing the yoke down, Cory started to descend. The rumble of the plane shook the insides of the plane around. Cory lowered his speed as the Cessna’s wheels touched the ground. He did it! In celebrations, Cory put on the throttle and started doing doughnuts. This was a monumental day for Cory.

From Cassandra: At the Hiller Aviation Museum, there are models of some of the Wright Brothers’ planes. One of these planes, built of white cloth and wood like the original, sits directly above the entrance hall. Inside there are mostly younger planes, along with a few old gliders. But next to a model flown by a motorcycle racer just a few years after the Wright Brothers, there’s an alcove with three televisions and an airplane simulator. There are no modern controllers, just two sticks attached to a black box. It was, after all, the world’s first airplane. The plane started out in the air over an unrecognizable city, farther up than the real version ever went. As I flew over skyscrapers and CGI landscapes, a few things were obvious about this early airplane. Seeing something in the distance, to my left, I tried to turn the plane towards it. To my surprise, the plane barely moved. On my second try, the plane moved far enough for the plane to be on my right, and almost tipped over. I S-curved over to the tower, failingly attempting to get towards it. I missed by over a mile, but right in front of me I saw something blue. I did not know what it was, and I still do not. The blue building, low and flat just over the hill, seemed far more interesting than the bland buildings behind me. It was only then that I realized that I was falling. At first, I had been high over the tops of the buildings, but when I skirted past the tower I was half way down. There simply wasn’t enough altitude to get over that hill, and see whatever CGI creation waited in that blue building. I attempted to pull up, before releasing the final failure of the world’s first airplane. It could not fly up. I crashed into a tree, and the simulation reset.

From Josh: After exploring the Hiller Aviation Museum, as a group we were led into the Restoration Shop part of the building. Imagine a workshop with pieces of wood and metal, some in the shape of airplane wings and tails, and some just in long sheets; saws of all sorts standing around in parts of the large, but cramped space; filing cabinets with small metal nuts, bolts, screws and nails along with others that I have yet to know the name of. Milling around or a few 50-60-year-old guys, conversing about planes and enjoying themselves to their heart’s content while rebuilding and restoring planes.

From Justin: This Thursday we went to the Hiller Aviation Museum. At the Hiller Aviation Museum, we got to experience a flight simulator. We went through an introduction to flying planes, then got to fly them ourselves. My partner Ally challenged me to do flips in the plane. I accepted the challenge and pushed the right rudder and moved the wheel to the right and started the spin. The plane started to spiral downwards; then, as I got close to the water, I stepped off the rudder. I skimmed across the water and straightened the plane out. Ally attempted to spin twice and crashed both times. This was the best part of the Hiller Aviation Museum for me.

From Malia: Ever wanted to run around in a plane without being handcuffed by the flight attendants? Ever wanted to see what the cockpit of an airplane was like in the 70s? When walking into the Boeing 747-100, I saw empty seats with out of date blue red and white stripes. The seats were much bigger with more cushioning than the slim ones there are now. There were only four seats per row, unlike the packed planes trying to fit as many seats in one row as possible. The exhibit is only the front of the plane, so this could be due to first class. The personal screens on every seat back were nonexistent.

From Cory: Yesterday we went on a field trip. I love obvious sentences. The field trip was really fun. Did I mention that I love obvious sentences? All memes aside, it really was a quite enjoyable and educational experience. The part that made the biggest impression on me was when we arrived at the Hiller Aviation Museum. The museum had all sorts of really awesome exhibits, and we even did a really cool flight simulation program, so I’m pretty much an expert pilot at this point. Feel free to hire me. The coolest thing at the museum in my opinion was a huge screen that had Google Earth showing on it. It had the whole Earth globe, and you could use this controller to fly around and zoom in on places. I found the United States on the world globe, and zoomed in until I found San Francisco. From there I was able to find Redwood City, where I live, and I was able to spot Sequoia High School by looking for their sports field. I pass by that school on my bike route every morning, so I was able to trace the roads back to my house. It was really amazing, being able to zoom in and see my house, and my backyard, and my patio and chicken coop, and know that I got there just by zooming in from space. So this means that if I was flying around in space, I could find my house without too much trouble. I think that’s pretty crazy. Not just pretty crazy. That’s amazing! The whole trip was really awesome, and I learned a lot from the wind tunnel and Hiller as well.

Next field trip: Ropes Course next Monday!

Magenta Visit to the NASA Ames Wind Tunnel

Field Trip Blog, Part I

On Thursday, Magenta Band went to visit the NASA wind tunnel. We were lucky to have a connection there, and Chris Hartley, an engineer at the tunnel, gave us a tour of the Wind Tunnel. Below are pictures from our field trip as well as some student reactions.

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From Evan: The wind tunnel was one of the largest enclosed spaces I had ever seen. A football field on its side is about how large the air intake is. So naturally I had to get a picture. So I ran into the corner of the wind tunnel to give a sense of scale. But when I ran over there, I remembered that our tour guide said that I had sound/vibration dampening built in the tunnel. I thought that since it’s so large and made out of hard materials, it must echo. So, to test it, I clapped. Now I did hear an echo but it didn’t sound like a clap. It sounded like a cartoon laser gun. When Cory and I heard it (us being 5-year-olds) we had to have a finger gun laser fight in the largest wind tunnel in the world.

From Jack: This last Thursday, the Magenta band went on an awesome field trip to the NASA Ames Research Center, where we got a tour of the largest wind tunnel in the world, the 80 by 120 foot wind tunnel. It was amazing. The wind tunnel is absolutely huge, You walk into the test chamber (which is just a small part of the whole wind tunnel) and are just shocked by the sheer size of the room. Adjacent to the side where you enter, there is a huge set of doors that open to allow a 75-ton crane on rollers to bring the model in. If you look to your left while facing the huge doors, you will see the tunnel will widen on all sides, including the floor. This looks extremely surreal; the floor changes from solid grating to a softer material. Because they didn’t want people walking on the softer material, there was a very narrow piece of steel that you had to walk on. The slope was so steep that if you were at the top you couldn’t see the people at the bottom. The facility in all was awesome.

From Harry: Yesterday, our class went to the NASA Ames Research Center to see the world’s largest wind tunnel. I don’t think anyone knew what we were expecting, so it was all the more shocking how colossal it was. From the outside, it looked big enough, but somehow it seemed even bigger from the inside. It was kind of humbling how massive it was, and made me think about humanity’s will to create. Seeing that places so monumental can be made by man was astonishing. It was also amazing how much goes into each test of anything. For example, the minimum prep time for anything is 8 weeks, and every test runs for about 4 months.

From Zoe: When going on a field trip you never know what to expect. I don’t think I ever could’ve predicted some of the amazing things I saw. One memory that truly sticks out was walking into the wind tunnel. When we walked in, my mouth flew wide open. I remember looking around in amazement at the sheer size of the place. I felt like a grain of sand at the beach. It is hard to find the right words to describe the feeling you get when you are in that wind tunnel. I felt like a spec of dust compared to the structure surrounding me. As we walked on the metal flooring, towards the other side of the wind tunnel, it looked as if we were at the edge of the world. It seemed as if we were about to walk off the edge into the abyss. I don’t remember speaking much, just silently taking in my surroundings. But it wasn’t just the size that was impressive; the power that the wind tunnel had was hard to comprehend. When the machine is turned on, the output of wind is so strong that they have to divert planes so none will crash. I never thought air could be so powerful. It puts everything into perspective when you see the amount of energy the wind tunnel uses. The power the propellers use is the same amount of energy as the town of Mountain View. The size and power of this machine was the thing that really stuck with me the most. Seeing the world’s largest wind tunnel made everything else seem so much smaller.

From Aidan:

Aidan asked many great questions during our tour. Here is his memory about some of those:

Aidan: Can you give an example of an aircraft that you have helped test in the large wind tunnel?
Chris: Yes, We recently tested an experimental helicopter not yet in production. It had a new technology on it that was supposed to help dampen vibrations from the rotors.
Aidan: What was that new technology?
Chris: The helicopter had carbon fiber blades and a thing that blew air back into the rotors.

Chris: We recently tested the placement of a radar pod on a production sub-hunter aircraft for the navy.
Aidan: What was the aircraft?
Chris: It was a P-8 Poseidon.

Aidan: Are the engines in the wind tunnel brushed or brushless?
Chris: They are large brushless motors.

Aidan: Does the shape of an aerofoil or does the angle of attack generally create more lift?
Chris: An aerofoil will generally create more lift in the long term, but adjusting the angle of attack will create more lift faster. A fast airplane will have a very thin aerofoil and rely more on angle of attack, and a slow plane will have a very thick aerofoil.

Aidan: Does the V-22 Osprey use its variable pitch props to adjust throttle when in fixed wing mode?
Chris: The pilot often uses both the pitch and the fuel valves to control thrust.

We are grateful to Chris Hartley for this opportunity to visit the Wind Tunnel during our By Air Arc!

In the afternoon of the same day, we went to the Hiller Aviation Museum, and Part II of our blog will be posted shortly about the museum and the flight simulation we did, as well as a much smaller wind tunnel that we saw.

A Digression Into Parachutes

When I reflect on this past week in the Blue Band a line from our read aloud The Twenty-One Balloons comes to mind.  William Pene du Bois is explaining why ballooning is the best mode of travel.  He says,

“In a balloon you can decide only when to start, and usually when to stop.  The rest is left entirely to nature.  How fast you will go and where is left to the winds.  It is a wonderful way to travel.”

As a collaborator I strive always to be a balloonist.  I know our starting point and usually have a good idea of where we will end up, but I like to let the winds of opportunity and students’ interest to carry us to new territory.  This week our band got carried away with parachutes!


Last week Piper and I introduced a new project.  The Yellow and Blue bands are sending a helium balloon into the stratosphere to take pictures of the earth from the edge of space.  This is a complex and exciting project!  One of the most important problems that the kids need to solve is how to protect our equipment as it plummets down to earth from space.  So we gave them the good ole egg drop challenge!


Each team was given an egg and asked to design a container that would protect their egg from a 61 foot fall.  Here we are on the roof measuring just how high we would be dropping our eggs from!


In the Blue band every single design included a parachute.


Every single design was successful!  Look at the glee on these kids’ faces!  What a great day!


It was interesting to see how everyone converged on a parachute design so I invited my friend John, a sky diver, to come and talk to us about his parachute.


He walked us through the physics and felt experience of sky diving as we watched footage of his jumps.  The Blue band was brimming with questions.  Some of my favorites included: “Are you scared when you jump out of the plane?”, “Has an animal ever sky dived?” and “Does the wind feel like a massage on your stomach as you fall?”


John explained to us that each square foot of parachute equals just about 1 pound of drag.  We laid out his parachute and tried to figure out how much he weighs by finding the area of the parachute.  It was a big multiplication problem because we were working with large dimensions.  So we tackled it as a group looking at different strategies to break down and rebuild the problem to make it easier.


I can’t pass up an opportunity to make a connection between math and the world so the following morning I gave them a parachute math provocation.  Each person got a piece of paper with all sorts of different creatures that wanted to go skydiving, like penguins (22 lbs), grandmas (120lbs), and pineapples (8 lbs). They had to use the base ten blocks to build parachutes for these creatures.   They were finding factors by creating arrays which modeled multiplication problems and having fun while doing it!  Tamasen and Sadie asked if we could do this same problem again the following day!


I want my students to be able to go their own pace and make their own discoveries.  So I am always looking for problems that can accommodate all sorts of discoveries.  This one really caught everyone’s imagination.  Gita discovered that there are multiple ways to build a parachute. “Two fourteens and four sevens are the same number!”   Ronan shared with everyone, “I’ve found a hack!  You just have to multiply the number by itself!”   Tamasen, Sadie and Lily each made the discovery that a parachute was a multiplication problem.


From egg drops to sky diving to parachute multiplication it has been such a rich and inspiring week.  Traveling on the winds of our curiosity the Blue band has drifted into some interesting new territories.  Next week we will be refocusing on our weather balloon launch!

A few of our favorite things

Welcome to week four everyone! The Red band is at the helm this week authoring our blog as we learn about the writing process. We started with a lesson on captions: the words that talk about the picture #kiddictionary. Each kiddo chose one or two pictures from our week to caption and add to their journal. Enjoy!


MEZRiNG ALBUTZHROZiZ WiNZ /Dash “Measuring albatross wings”




Me aD ROOn MaF/ Khalilah “Me and Ronin doing math”


“Dash drawing wings with Nathan.”/ Sylvester


me and may are reading. /Ronin






“Here I am writing the word bird like Khalilah. After I drew a great big bird.”/ Quinn

Taking on a Second Iteration, Mathing it Up, Persuading Others, and the Bridge

After the success of the first iteration of their tetrahedral kite, the Teal Band decided to move forward with a second iteration. On Monday, they reflected on their experiences making and flying the kite and the construction of the kite itself. After brainstorming successes and challenges, they came up with a number of next steps to improve on the kite’s design and construction.

Teal Band reflected on the first iteration of their tetrahedral kite in preparation for their second iteration.

Teal Band reflected on the first iteration of their tetrahedral kite in preparation for their second iteration.

Exploring a new way to construct the tetrahedrons with stronger vertex corners by eliminating the string all together.

Exploring a new way to construct the tetrahedrons with stronger vertex corners by eliminating the string all together.

While reading Math Curse by Jon Sciezska the previous week, we stumbled upon a math problem we wanted to solve: How much would it cost to measure the length of the Mississippi River in M&Ms? They had already found that it would take 400 million M&Ms to measure, but how much do 400 million M&Ms cost. They were pretty certain that not all bags of M&Ms contained the same number, so they settled on counting 6 bags and taking an average. After work around averages, some major long division, and multiplication, they figured out that it would cost $9,381,817.83 to buy enough M&Ms at regular price or $3,636,363,50 at the sale price we bought them at. We decided against actually measuring it and saving those millions for a new building for Brightworks.

After reading Math Curse last week, the Teal Band wanted to figure out how much it would cost to measure the length of the Mississippi River in M&Ms.

After reading Math Curse last week, the Teal Band wanted to figure out how much it would cost to measure the length of the Mississippi River in M&Ms.

We also took a look at the surface area of the triangles that make up the kite’s tetrahedrons. After exploring the triangles for a bit, they discovered that they could turn the triangle into a rectangle by cutting it in half and putting the two halves back together in another configuration to recreate the whole. Knowing that the area of a rectangle can be found by multiplying the width by the height, the Teal Band also worked to find the hypotenuse of the right triangles they had created when they cut the equilateral triangle in half, as that had become the height of their rectangle.

The Teal Band explored ways to find the surface area of the triangles that make up their kite's tetrahedrons.

The Teal Band explored ways to find the surface area of the triangles that make up their kite’s tetrahedrons.

With our Mendocino trip only weeks away, a few students are already making requests for cabin mates, cabin leaders, trail groups and more. These requests provided the perfect opportunity for the Teal Band to work on their persuasive writing skills. This coming week, they will work to help peer edit one another’s work.

Everyone in the Teal Band is working on a persuasive letter to someone else in the Brightworks community.

Everyone in the Teal Band is working on a persuasive letter to someone else in the Brightworks community.

The “bridge” between the Teal band space and the library is in need of a major facelift and the Teal Band has been tasked with taking that on. On Wednesday, we met with Amanda Simons to brainstorm. They listed how it is currently used, how they want to use it, and what they want to change. Everyone wanted to jump straight to their design ideas, but we are taking our time and doing this right. It’s hard to create a true design if you don’t have the measurements and a drawing of the space as is. This coming week, we will move onto the physical design. They cannot wait.

The first steps to updating the bridge between the band space and the library with Amanda.

The first steps to updating the bridge between the band space and the library with Amanda.

We wrapped up the week with a conversation around flying vs. gliding vs. floating. They worked together to define each of the three. It was not an easy task, but one that we had been touching on daily since day one. To expand on their thoughts around these concepts, each Teal bander wrote a blog post stemming from this discussion.

Sharing our thoughts around the differences between flying, gliding and floating

Sharing our thoughts around the differences between flying, gliding and floating

This coming week, the Teal Band will continue on with the design of the second iteration of their kite. We cannot wait to get it in the air.