Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ready for Another Year of LunaTech

This year, we've got a lot of new faces and are excited to explore, design, and create new media!  Some of this years project themes include:

  • robotics
  • graphic design
  • audio engineering
  • video production
  • DIY Science

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts of Japan

After hearing of the disaster in Japan we wanted to do something to show our support.  Together, we created several collages and posters and put them on display in The MYC.

Fun with Playdough

Ever made your own playdough?  It's super easy!  And you probably have everything you need at home already.  Though it was a bit messy, we had a lot of fun making our own playdough.  Once it was made we customized it with food coloring.   See below for the materials and instructions.  Enjoy!

    3 cups boiling water
    3 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups salt
    1 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
    3 tsp cream of tartar

    Mix all ingredients except for the flour in a large bowl.
    Once well mixed, add flour.
    Stir continuously until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
    Once well mixed, remove from bowl and knead on floured surface.
    If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
    Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
    Color with food coloring if desired.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cardboard Automata

For our second project in our Maker Series we built Cardboard Automata.  They are a playful way to explore simple machine elements such as cams, levers, and linkages, while creating a mechanical sculpture.

We used simple materials that you could find around your house:
  • cardboard
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • straw
  • hot glue gun
  • Foamies
  • skewer sticks
Check out how it works

This project was inspired by creations from the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Ca.  Instructions for this project can be found here.

Water Wars!

The Challenge
       Build a boat that can hold 25 pennies for 10 seconds; 50 pennies; 75 pennies; 100 pennies.

The Materials
       straws, duct tape, plastic wrap

We worked in teams and individually to build our boats.  We designed boats that were long, short, wide, and deep.  There were many different designs.  Almost all of the boats held 25 pennies for 10 seconds.  A few held 50 pennies for 10 seconds.  

And only one boat held 75 pennies for 10 seconds.  The winning boat actually held 95 pennies for 10 seconds.  It sunk at 97 pennies.

This idea was taken from the Design Squad.  Check it out here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Visit with Japanese Exchange Students

Japanese Exchange students come visit The MYC!

Last week a group of Japanese exchange students came to The MYC to share some of their culture with us.  We had a lot of fun and learned a lot of new things!  They taught us how to make origami cameras and cranes, wrote our names in Kanji, and introduced us to traditional Japanese games Kendama, Fukuwarai, and a board game with rules similar to Jenga.

Fernanda's ready to take your picture with her origami camera!

Natalie mastered Kendama

The paper crane experts

We're learning Kanji

Monday, February 7, 2011

Accessorizing with Plastic

Plastic shopping bags are a scourge on the environment.  Plastic fusing is a fun and easy way to recycle your plethora of plastic bags!  We gathered our plastic bags (the more patterned and colorful the better), designed our fabric pattern, and began fusing pieces of plastic together to create our own plastic fabric!

Materials needed:
plastic bags
parchment paper

1. Cut out shapes from various plastic bags and layer them together to create your own fabric design

2. Create a parchment/plastic sandwich - place your plastic between the parchment paper (2 layers at a time)

3. Using a low setting on your iron, iron your plastic until it fuses together.  Once it has, add another layer and continue fusing until your fabric is complete

Now that you have your plastic fabric you can use it to make a variety of fashionable items!

4.  Cut out your pattern and start sewing - by hand or machine

5. Show off your fashionable, hand-made, recycled accessory to all your friends

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sound Collage: A Sampling of Our Environment

We were interested in trying to map different areas of our walking route through sound.  We started at the beginning, where we all meet up and have a quick snack before heading out.  Then we stopped at the park and played on the slide.  And before reaching our final destination, stopped by the street corner to collect sounds of traffic passing by.

Adding a visual element to our collage, we took successive pictures while recording the sounds.  This was a fun and easy project that helped us to really focus on the sounds around us.