return to the sea

Today, Madison led the whole school in a closing ceremony for the Salt arc. In the style of Motoi Yamamoto, she led the kids in gathering the salt she’d used for her salt art project and then brought them to the bay to return the salt to the sea.

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The whole school on their way to the bay!

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Madison made sure that everyone appreciated the importance of this ceremony, for her project, all the projects at school, and for the arc in general.

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A toss!

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And more handfuls of white salt return to the sea.

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Goodbye, salt… for now!

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exposition open house

The Salt Exposition open house was an incredible event! Each band took a half hour shift twice during the evening to answer questions and comment on their projects for parents and community members. The kids were able to demonstrate their knowledge in a low-key environment and let their friends and family know just how much they knew about the project they had worked on for the past month.

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(Apologies for the blurry photos – it got pretty dark in the space last night!)

presentations day 3

Day the third and final of individual, whole school presentations for the Salt arc!

Zada gave us all an informational talk on the influence that salt has on nerves and how that idea informed her research project on synesthesia. She also played song samples and showed us the paintings she’d done based on colors she sees when listening to music.

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Mason described the process of building a lemonade cart in the workshop and the difficulties he faced. He also told us about serving salted lemonade and took an impromptu poll of which people preferred lemonade with a little bit of salt versus a lot of salt.

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Isaac told us about his process in making his three-minute video of chefs preparing food in professional kitchens. He explained that he had a lot of setbacks, but we were all impressed at the film and his freestyle jazz drumming that he did on the cork floor while we watched the film.

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Meg displayed her research on the effect of salt on cows and brine shrimp and told us how she had discovered that cows are much more intelligent than we think. She asked a series of questions based on her research and rewarded right answers with a cookie.

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Logan talked about his knowledge of fishing and proudly displayed the fishing rod he made during the expression phase. He did a demonstration of threading eyelets onto the rod with a device called a jig.

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Henry and Max, whose restaurant project happened Friday (pictures forthcoming!), told us about the struggles they faced during the idea and implementation process, as well as how successful they were on the big day.

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Levi read us his research on piranhas from South America and admitted that he had had assumptions about the bloodthirsty fish before he did the research and debunked some myths: they don’t live in seawater and they’re very shy!

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Clementine presented her Field Guide to Salt, her hand-bound and handmade book on different kinds of salts from all around the world. Her particular favorite was the ginger salt from Thailand, which uses the juice from ginger roots to make the spicy flavor.

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Nicky brought us over to the Phantoms’ bands space and showed us the pulley system he made that is strong enough for one person to lift 75 pounds of salt. He explained the physics of splitting up the weight of the heavy object between several pulleys to make lifting easier.

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Theo, planet master, filled our bellies with pizza that he had meticulously put together as representations of planets and moons from all over the Solar System. Each pizza had flavors that mirrored its planet’s attributes: the Sun pizza had multicolored bell peppers, the Mars pizza was red and peppery hot. Yum!

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Tomorrow night concludes the Exposition phase of the Salt arc in an evening open house where the students will set up their projects like museum displays and will be on hand to answer questions in more depth and admire their peers’ work!

presentations day 2

Day two of exposition presentations continued today with the theme of science.

Connor and Coke presented their materials and methods for making saltpeter fireworks, revealed that gunpowder was created in pursuit of the Elixir of Life, and showed a video of their fireworks testing that they did in Montara last night.

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Ben talked about the mini salt flat he recreated after being inspired by the Coyotes’ field trip to the salt flats in Redwood City. He said his favorite part about the experiments was putting salt water in the oven and revealed that bay water is saltier than ocean water.

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Lola explained the differences in her experiments with salted ice and non-salted ice and described how salted ice water is colder than non-salted ice water. She told us how she took a picture of the melting ice every minute and showed a slideshow of her pictures.

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Kaia and Frances discussed their guinea pig intelligence experiments and their understanding of the differences between a control and a variable in a science experiment. Although they determined that their experiment probably wasn’t too scientific because of the vastly different variables, they did determine that guinea pig Fluffle was the most intelligent.

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Alessandro and Bruno talked about their salt powered car experiments and the difficulties they ran into in building their devices. They also talked about the real-world version of a salt power, a fresh and salt water power plant in Norway.

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Noah showed a video of himself talking about the scooter that he made with Josh as well as the results of his obstacle course and the survey that resulted. He also demonstrated the turning ability of the front wheel of his scooter.

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Ben described his process in creating NaCl from chemicals found in stores: drain cleaner and pool cleaner. Although the salt wasn’t edible, he still was able to successfully combine both chemicals to create a neutral, ordinary table salt.

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Max and Henry are putting on their salt restaurant project as I type! More pictures and presentations on Monday.

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presentations day 1

Exposition started today! We grouped the kids into presentations by theme; today was based on Salt in Art.

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Lucy made a video of herself demonstrating her use of salt in watercolor and the effects that salt has when it dissolves in watercolor paints. She also showed how salt does not affect acrylic or tempra paints. She answered questions about her art gallery in the Coyote band space.

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William presented his project in his studio space and talked about the rainmaker he made, the challenges he faced doing research, and compared his rainmaker to one that had been professionally made.

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Thea presented her gorgeous salt paintings to the group and talked about the importance of not throwing something out immediately just because she didn’t like how it looked, and learning to work with what she started.

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Madison discussed her experience studying the artwork of Motoi Yamamoto, her road trip to Los Angeles to visit the artist’s work and seeing it in person for the first time, and her work creating her own piece of salt art.

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Norabelle read her analysis of her evaporation experiments that resulted in different shapes of salt crystals left when all the water had evaporated. She noted the differences in the crystals’ shapes in table salt versus epsom salt.

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Audrey and Natasha did an incredible job doing their salt dance together in shiny leotards, presenting the exchange of electrons between sodium and chloride that ultimately creates table salt.

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Daniel talked about the games he made up during the expression phase and led the group in a short game of Power Banana Tag.

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Alexander talked about his experiments with making a workable boomerang and showed a video of learning to throw one in Australia. He then auctioned off all of the boomerangs he had made during his expression phase.

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Evan sat in a chair like a wise professor and talked about the trials and tribulations and ultimate success of taking on all the jobs necessary for creating a newspaper, called Kid City Weekly, which featured stories on his peers’ projects during the Salt Arc.

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To be continued tomorrow.

finishing projects

The last days of Expression are upon us! Tomorrow the kids begin their Exposition presentations, a series of three days where the kids will present to each other, the staff, and their parents in the afternoons, culminating in an evening open house next Tuesday to show off presentations and talk about their work with the larger group. In the last few days, even though the deadline was Friday, the kids have been tying up loose ends on their projects, and beginning work on their poster boards, videos, slideshows, and written work for presentations and portfolios.

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