Archive for the ‘K’NEX’ Category

K’NEX Creativity: Super Wheels at The Trove

Following the successful K’NEX Special – The New NY Bridge and I Lift NY Super Crane Project at White Plains Public Library, a 6th Grade Special: Connect with K’NEX program last week invited students to The Trove to pool their creativity by designing and building their own K’NEX models.

Go, teams! Proudly displaying their new certificates, New NY Bridge and I Lift NY models/New NY Bridge Outreach

Go, teams! Proudly displaying their new certificates, New NY Bridge and I Lift NY models/New NY Bridge Outreach

“It’s a fun way to learn teamwork and use their imagination to with the K’NEX,” children’s librarian Terry Rabideau said. “They learn how the various shapes and sizes fit together, they’re looking at colors. It’s a chance to be creative.”

Teamwork plus creativity yields a cool model K'NEX jeep/TR

Teamwork plus creativity yields a cool model K’NEX jeep/TR

The result: a colorful vehicle that would’ve stood up to the recent snowstorm.

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Children in grades 3 through 6 living in White Plains are invited to “Make A Superhero Cape!” program on Friday, Jan. 30, at 3:30 p.m. Details are here.

Super crane draws fans in all weather/© Janie Rosman 2014

Super crane draws fans in all weather/© Janie Rosman 2014

Check out K’NEX replicas of the New NY Bridge and the I Lift NY super crane at The Trove — and the super crane via the viewing area in Tarrytown.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Cottage Lane Students’ New NY K’NEX Bridge

Technology teacher Jacob Tanenbaum was as excited as his young students when project officials paid a second visit to Cottage Lane Elementary School.

“Fifth-grade science has a unit of study on bridge design that teaches engineering science,” Tanenbaum said. “Doing engineering with them, and building the K’NEX bridge, has been a wonderful experience.”

Problem-solving for some future engineers/NNYB Outreach

Problem-solving for some future engineers/NNYB Outreach

And since he’d never seen K’NEX pieces, Tanenbaum learned along with them. The bridge model — which includes cars, bicycles and a kayak or two below the spans — is prominently displayed and has gotten much attention.

“My students were thrilled to be part of the project in their own way. It’s hands-on learning for them to figure out how to engineer a copy of the bridge,” Tanenbaum said.

K’NEX Bridge is at Nyack Outreach Center/NNYB Outreach

K’NEX Bridge is at Nyack Outreach Center/NNYB Outreach

“The New NY Bridge is a once in a lifetime project and we want it to inspire local students at all levels from graduate school and college down to elementary classrooms. The goal of our educational outreach effort at all levels is to use this historic infrastructure project to inspire the next generation of bridge builders here in New York.” — Brian Conybeare, Special Project Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo

Year two of project officials’ five-year Educational Outreach Program focuses on “A Solid Foundation.” Unveiled in October 2013, the program, interest quickly spread. Well, that might be an understatement.

Massive crane leaving CA for New York/Jacob Tanenbaum

Massive crane leaving CA for New York/Jacob Tanenbaum

“They brought in part of the rebar, which is the size of your arm. The kids were excited to see and touch it,” Tanenbaum said of the presentation, which focused on the concrete batch plants and how the foundations are being constructed.

Tanenbaum was bicycling on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s shared use path with the I Lift NY set out for New York last December. The kids tracked its six-week progress with a geography lesson or two added for good measure.

Technology teacher Jacob Tanenbaum and the super crane

Technology teacher Jacob Tanenbaum and the super crane

New York State is considering adopting the Next Generation Science Standards. “The engineering standards especially are wonderful, and the kids have a real-life model in their neighborhood,” he said. And how!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Fascinated by the I Lift NY Super Crane

“Combine the two, make the engineer sketch like an artist and make the artist analyze like an engineer, and you are half-way there.” — German designer and typographer Erik Spiekermann.

Coming to a river near us/NNYB Outreach

Coming to a river near us/NNYB Outreach

We followed the Left Coast Lifter‘s journey from its Oakland, CA, departure in December to its arrival in New York Harbor. Photographers Phil Little and  Bjoern Kils saw the I Lift NY — escorted by tugboats Lauren Foss and Iver Foss — greet the Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Tower about six weeks later. Will Van Dorp, who blogs at tugster: a waterblog shared his views as the crane was en route.

Remember when Contra Costa Times reporter Lisa Vorderbrueggen mused in May if the name Left Coast Lifter might be too much for us? And something about the bridge replacement project being “less prestigious” or similar nonsense.

Well, Lisa, if you followed along, you’d know that before 5 p.m. the day I blogged about it, project officials said the crane had been dubbed I Lift NY.

Cub Scouts Pack 6 Crestwood with their K’NEX model of the I Lift NY super crane/New NY Bridge Outreach

Cub Scouts Pack 6 Crestwood with their K’NEX model of the I Lift NY super crane/New NY Bridge Outreach

And guess what? Kids here are building models of the New NY Bridge and the I Lift NY from K’NEX pieces while learning about math and engineering, being creative, assisting as part of a team, and problem-solving.

Were similar educational projects created after the crane arrived in California, where it remained for more than four years?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Paralleling the Real Deal: Build With K’NEX!

During September, 24 kids and four high school volunteers met weekly at The Trove at White Plains Public Library. Their mission: to build replicas of the New NY Bridge and the I Lift NY super crane using K’NEX pieces.

Teamwork, learning, creativity/New NY Bridge Outreach

Teamwork, learning, creativity/New NY Bridge Outreach

Children’s librarian Terry Rabideau found it interesting to see how the kids each chose different jobs within their teams. “Some would find the K’NEX pieces, and some would actually build. Some were problem-solvers and figured out how the pieces fit together,’ she said.

While The Trove’s LEGO® Build Club meets each month, the library never hosted a short-term project like Build With K’NEX! for which kids work as a team. “What was fun was watching them come back every week, knowing they had to continue where they left off,” she said. Just like construction crew at the project site.

Go, teams! Proudly displaying their new certificates, New NY Bridge and I Lift NY models/New NY Bridge Outreach

Go, teams! Proudly displaying their new certificates, New NY Bridge and I Lift NY models/New NY Bridge Outreach

“It gave them a great sense of pride and accomplishment,” Rabideau said. The month ended with participants receiving special certificates and enjoying a cookies-and-juice party with their parents. “Many of the adults hadn’t seen the structures and were amazed at what the kids built,” Rabideau said.

Both models are on display at The Trove, 100 Martine Ave., White Plains. Call 914-422-1476.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Build With K’NEX! Combines Learning and Fun

“They’re replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge that you drive over in a car, and it is called the New NY Bridge,” Terry Rabideau said, pointing to a K’NEX model nearby. “We need to build a model of it so that other kids can see the bridge.”

Terry Rabideau explains the I Lift NY super crane at The Trove at White Plains Public Library/© Janie Rosman

Terry Rabideau explains the I Lift NY super crane at The Trove at White Plains Public Library/© Janie Rosman

A few youngsters “oohed” as Rabideau, speaking to them at The Trove at White Plains Public Library, moved on to the next K’NEX structure.

“This is called the I Lift NY super crane, and this is what’s going to help build this bridge,” she said. “It takes a lot of equipment to build a big bridge like this.”

Now she has their attention.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of something that’s being built that everybody’s going to know about,” Rabideau continued. A chorus of young voices responded when she asked what grades they’re in now.

“When you’re older in four years, then this bridge will be built, and you’ll remember you built a model of this bridge,” she said, explaining the different parts: base, road, towers and cables.

Youngsters carefully study the model bridge before selecting their K'NEX pieces/White Plains Public Library

Youngsters carefully study the model bridge before selecting their K’NEX pieces/White Plains Public Library

“It’s an opportunity for the kids, while they’re doing something fun, to gain math and engineering skills, to learn how things fit together, shapes, sizes,” Rabideau said the next day. “They’re looking at colors and think they’re having fun. We hope it’s an opportunity to be creative.”

She compared it to the LEGO® Build Club, where kids build whatever they want.

(In Build With K’NEX!), “we give them themes like towers, and it’s (also) an opportunity to be creative. The kids (grades 2 to 6) are a part of history, and the history of their community,” Rabideau said. “And now, as the bridge is being built, the kids are more aware, and it’s exciting for them to see.”

Building foundations for the K'NEX structure and for problem-solving/White Plains Public Library

Building foundations for the K’NEX structure and for problem-solving/White Plains Public Library

“The other part is it’s a social activity for them,” she said. Each of the four tables of kids worked together as a team: “Some kids were runners, and went to find pieces, some kids were the builders, and put pieces together. The room was humming with energy!”

Next week the group will finish their bridge models, and during the third and fourth weeks, they’ll work on the super crane, both of which will be on display at The Trove after a ceremonial unveiling.

Whereas at the LEGO® Build Club, kids will ask her for a certain colored piece, and she’ll make an announcement to the entire room, “This is what so-and-so is loking for,” and another kid will say, “I found it!” They all come forward to help each other.

Which book(s) will you choose?/ New NY Bridge Outreach

Which book(s) will you choose?/ New NY Bridge Outreach

Both groups offer kids a chance to work with materials they might not have access to, or time for, during the day. Better yet, it’s time with their peers, and in a fun, learning environment.

“It brings them into the library, they can see what resources we have and can get ideas from the books,” Rabideau said. “If all the books are gone at the end of the session, then it’s been successful.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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