Tag Archives: Amanda Grutza

We made lava lamps and levers at @PortfolioK12’s annual community Halloween party today. Here are some notes and pics. #MakerEd #elemaker #STEAM

I had a great time participating in Portfolio School‘s annual community Halloween event for both neighborhood families and children who attend the school! Here are links and descriptions of the two activities we offered for participants:

  1. Lever art inspired by @RobIves — Jeannette of Portfolio School kindly used their laser cutter to pre-cut cardboard into rectangles per Rob Ives’s template. We offered children the option to make a simple lever or lever with linkage and used construction paper, markers, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and glue sticks to create their design. I made an example with a flying pumpkin over a pumpkin patch, but then a lot of children wanted to copy it, so I made another example with of plain cardboard lever ready to be decorated.
  2. Lava Lamps by SteamPoweredFamily.com — Jeannette and Katarina of Portfolio School went to town facilitating this activity! We had a popsicle stick with a line drawn across it to estimate how much water to first add to the jar. Then kids added oil, food coloring, glow in the dark powder, and a teaspoon of white powder (which was a mixture of 2 parts baking soda to 1 part citric acid — alternatively, Alka Seltzer tabs would work as well to jumpstart the fizzy reaction). I appreciated that Katarina and Jeannette encouraged the children to try different combinations of colors and different amounts of oil or mixture or UV powder. Prototyping!

Photos of the Lava Lamp activity:
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Photos of the Levers activity:img_5926

Movie of Amanda Grutza’s flame thrower!

Photos of Portfolio’s awesome learning spaces, Makerspace, and classrooms:

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