Use the Implementation Guide to plan your approach to any and all of the Playful Building activities. It offers a facilitation outline to help you organize your presentation; facilitator background information and a shopping list to help you prepare for your program; supporting media lists; and correlations to National Science Education Standards. From there, use the step-by-step activity guides to explore the central idea of an imagined community park:
Participants are invited to imagine the park of their dreams! In small groups, they place moveable pieces on a grid, iterating on their plan together to create a plan for a community park.
Participants explore how different types of simple machines can be used for fun at a community park. They are challenged to create a simple human machine that transports a bean bag. Many groups solve the challenge with a slide — an inclined plane or an inclined plane that has been twisted into a screw shape — made of their hands. They plan, design, test, and revise a boat (with a bow that serves as a wedge, cutting through water) and update that playground classic, the seesaw (a type of lever).
Power and Protect
Families or groups of children are challenged to solve two problems that they might face in a community park: providing clean water and supplying electricity (such as for lighting along paths and trails). They explore and test common materials to identify the best low-tech materials that can be used to help filter water for a pond, water playground, pool, or other recreational water feature. In another activity, explore and test common materials to modify model wind turbines to better catch the wind.
All Playful Building materials are also available free for educational use at www.starnetlibraries.org.
June 18, 2013