Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Motivation, Problem Solving, Research, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos

It’s Not Just a Soccer Ball

Image of Soccket from Uncharted Play
Image of Soccket from Uncharted Play

Ever since the Doodle 4 Google theme for 2014 was announced (“If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place…”), I have been finding resources everywhere.  I’m pretty sure I could spend an entire year with a class on this theme.

For example, last week on Twitter, @theresamcgee shared a fabulous page of student projects done last year in which 4th graders dreamed up simple machine inventions to make the world a better place.

Then I went to TCEA, and Leslie Fisher (who is completely hilarious and awesome and probably my long, lost sister) shared some great inventions during her “Gadgets” presentation that make the world a better place:  Soccket – the energy harnessing soccer ball that gives hours of light after 30 minutes of play, Squito – the ball with 8 cameras that can stitch together the pictures for a panoramic view with potential to be used by first responders in dangerous situations to check out the surrounding area, and Gravity Light – lift a weight in 3 seconds that will give you 25 minutes of light as it descends.

Then, Kid President released his newest video, “How to be an Inventor.”

I mean, really, how can you not come up with an idea to make the world a more awesome place with all of these resources at your fingertips?  Practice a little S.C.A.M.P.E.R. with your students, and see what they can design!

Art, Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos

Doodle 4 Google 2014

from Doodle4Google 2014 site
from Doodle 4 Google 2014 site

Every year about this time, Google launches the Doodle 4 Google Contest for students in K-12.  I love to see the new theme each year.  This one certainly invites a lot of creative ideas! The winning entrant can win a $30,000 college scholarship, as well as $50,000 for his or her school.  There are other prizes available as well. Entries are due Thursday, March 20th.

Maybe I completely missed it in years past, but I am really excited to see the addition of “Classroom Activities” to the Doodle 4 Google resources. These include “Activity Packs” for different grade level groups, a video featuring some Google Doodlers, and links to planned Google Hangouts during the month of February that will allow students to connect with some real-life Google Doodlers.

Here are some other resources you might want to view to get some inspiration: Google Doodle Gallery, History of Google Doodles, Some Past Doodle 4 Google Winners.

And, just in case you feel like doodling is a poor way to spend your time, you might want to read this article from NPR: “Bored? Try Doodling to Keep the Brain on Task.

Art, Creative Thinking, K-12, Student Products

Doodle 4 Google

The Doodle 4 Google contest is up and running, and I love the theme for this year.  It’s, “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…”  It’s open to all K-12 students in U.S. schools, and there are some really amazing prizes, including a Google Chromebook.  If you know a student who is an aspiring artist, be sure to have him or her submit an entry by March 23rd.  To inspire your students, you might want to head over to this link, where some art students created some Art History Google pieces.