Thursday, October 6, 2016

Paper Roller Coaster Contest

During September Jack and three other (also homeschooled) boys from his 4H club worked on a paper roller coaster together to enter in a STEM day contest.
We had an idea that we would meet three times and build three roller coasters and see which one was best and enter that one.  Let's just say that didn't happen.

By the third time the boys met, they really made a lot of progress!
The last week they decorated it and tweaked a few rough patches.
The finished roller coaster!  It took about 12.5 seconds to run and looked great!
At the STEM day there were all kinds of activities for the middle schoolers to try.
They didn't place, but since there were over 100 other teams, there was a lot of competition!  They worked together so well, though, and I think they had a great time!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Summer Photo Contest

 This summer the kids had some fun opportunities at the Linnaeus Teaching Gardens, including a photo contest.  Saturday afternoon there was a reception for all of the kids who entered the contest.

 Alice won first place in the children's division!

 Like most of the kids who won, her favorite photo was not the winner.

 Jack won first place in the teen division!  I think the mat he picked for his koi photo made it look even better.

I'm so glad these two are willing to try new things!  (And it's fun when it turns out so well, too!)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

4H Achievement Banquet

 Thursday night was the annual 4H Achievement Banquet.  Jack has worked really hard in his first year of 4H.  He participated in Share the Fun, Bright Nights, the Fashion Revue, the Food Showdown, the Pet & Critter Show, and camp, along with lots of other events.

 He compiled all of the things he did over the year in his record book and he earned a gold medal.

 After they gave out the medals, they gave special awards.

 He won the Outstanding Junior Agriculture and Natural Sciences Award.  I love that my friend Rachel was the one presenting this because she really encouraged us to go ahead and do the record book after I spent the first half of the year saying we weren't going to.
 All of the kids from our club who earned medals!

 Special award winners from our club--thanks to another mom for sharing this with me because somehow I never took a picture of this!

I'm so proud of this boy and all the great work he's done.  He's already planning for this year!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Science Fun

 Right before school started our children's museum had a week of free science classes so they could try out some new ideas.

 The first class we went to was a paper circuits class.

 Even I managed to make the light bulb light up!

 Then they tried some more complex designs.  Alice made a house!

Jack made four bulbs light up!
They also went to a class on magnets.

 The last class they went to was on linkages.

They had a great time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Little Green Thumbs

 This summer the kids took part in a kids' gardening class at our local teaching gardens.  In July, the theme was Art in the Gardens.  Alice made this picture of the koi pond.

 We always have to look for frogs when we go there!

 They also had all the kids come up with a logo for the class.

 The August class was centered around harvesting and the kids got to pick different things in the gardens.

 They also announced the winner of the logo contest, which was Jack!  (This is showing how Alice colored her tool box, which was printed with Jack's design.  All the kids got a box to take home!)

 Jack didn't get to take his tool box home that day because it was on display at the Mini Maker Faire, which we had already planned to visit after class.

 It was so neat to see his tool box there!

 They had a display showing how the boxes were made.

 The kids also entered the garden photo contest last week.

They entered some great shots!

Sunday, September 11, 2016


 During the first week of August the kids went to KJAM (Kids, Jesus, and Music) camp at church.  All week they worked on a musical and then performed it on Sunday.

 They had a red carpet-type entrance ready for the kids the first day! (These camp pictures are all from the KJAM Facebook page, so we could see what they were doing throughout the week.)

 Learning choreography

 Practicing on the big stage

 Dress rehearsal

 On Friday they got to go to Incredible Pizza!

 The performance!

They did such a great job!

Saturday, September 10, 2016


 Today we went to the BrickUniverse Lego convention!

 As soon as we walked in we spotted Mr. Tiger!  (We got to see his original creator a few years ago!)

 They had lots of different historical displays like this D-Day one.
 They had several different themed areas where there were tons of bricks and you could build.  I made this little flower bed.

 Alice did a little more work and made this house!

 While we were doing that, Jack was participating in one of the challenge sessions.  Each person had a tub of random bricks and they had 5 minutes to build something on a certain theme before they were judged.

 Some more models...

Before we left, both kids tried another challenge session.

It was a lot of fun!  I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was big enough to be entertaining but small enough to not be overwhelming.  Jack even found some minifigures he was wanting!