Opportunity for education / outreach with gifted students

I was approached by the Gifted and Talented Education unit here at MSU to see if LMN would be interested and able to run a multi-day session for 4th and 5th graders in June, where they would design / build something with an educational aspect to it.

We did a “field trip” week with the Lansing School District years ago that was very successful and fun. This is a smaller scale. It would be either 3 days over a long weekend for and hour and 40 minutes each day, or 5 days, Mon.-Fri. for an hour a day, with a maximum of 25 children.

I’m all in for doing this (and participating in June) but I am not at all good at figuring out activities for kids. I want to solicit ideas and plans from anyone interested. There’s not a lot of guidance, other than something reasonably educational, rather than a “mere” craft project. (No disrespect to crafts intended!) I think it needs an individual take-home, rather than a big group project, because these kids are from different schools, and it’s at the end of the school year, anyway.

It’s the same group each visit, not a different batch, so it needs to be a multi-day project, or something different for each day. We would go to them, instead of them visiting us. That means no big tools like the laser cutter. We could of course pre-make parts and pieces and bring them with us.

We’ll negotiate a price to cover materials and an honorarium for LMN.

If you’ve got practical ideas, let’s hear them!


I’m interested. First, though. the arts are educational. I can think of a few things off the top of my head-- finger weaving, 2 liter, air powered rockets, small robots, small catapults, kites…

I agree with you about the arts! I was paraphrasing a comment I heard. The latest criteria I got is “Hands-on, fun, always great if they learn a skill!” So that covers a lot of ground.

Do they have an anticipated budget? $5 per student or $25 per student could make a big difference in the type of project they do.

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Their budget is $25 - $35 per student

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I’m interested, depending on the schedule. I like Charlie’s ideas, too.

For portability, knitting the Sierpinski gasket is pretty fun - it doesn’t teach you any skills other than knitting and goofing off with cellular automata, but it sure does get you friendly with powers of two and Mersenne numbers.

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