Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

The Science Club

This last week saw the first meeting of the Science and Engineering Club. As the gifted and talented person at the elementary school, I set up the club last year to fill a hole in academic extra-curricular activities. We have done activities in the past such as building bridges out of spaghetti, launching model rockets, and building robots with our Lego Mindstorms kits.

You would think that lots of kids would want to take part, but there is one small problem. I can’t find a night that works where kids can come after school. Between basketball, football, kids club and the local religious education classes, there is not a free night! So the result is having the club meet one recess a week.

This last week I was lucky enough to get seven electronics kits on loan from our CESA office. These kits contain capacitors, transistors, resistors, and all the parts needed to make a noisemaker, a radio, or a thousand other projects. They all snap together as easily as Legos with no wires or soldering. Great stuff.

But I am up against the best fall weather we have had in recent memory. And football—there is always football. The first meeting 20 kids showed up; the second meeting, about 12; and the last meeting, eight kids completed their project.

I can’t lose hope; the first project is always the most difficult. I learned that from last year. Plus, the weather will be on my side by next week when the frost sets in hard. Electronics down; up next, building a computer from spare parts!

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