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Cardboard Automata
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Cardboard Automata are a playful way to explore simple machine elements while creating a mechanical sculpture. This activity was inspired by the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, a group of automata builders based in England. Artists like Paul Spooner, Keith Newstead, and Carlos Zapata build beautiful narrative pieces using elegant mechanisms based on cams, gears, springs, and linkages. Working with simple materials, this activity is easy to get started, and may become as complex as your mechanical sculpture ideas.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
10/10/2017
Exploring Tessellations (Grades 6-8)
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In this activity, learners design unique tiles and make repeating patterns to create tessellations. This activity combines the creativity of an art project with the challenge of solving a puzzle. This lesson features three investigations, in which learners make tessellations by translating, rotating, and reflecting the patterns.

Subject:
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
12/07/2010
Exploring Tessellations (Grades K-2)
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
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In this activity, learners repeat patterns in two and three dimensions to create tessellations. This activity combines the creativity of an art project with the challenge of solving a puzzle. This lesson features three investigations that are appropriate for varying grades and levels.

Subject:
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
12/07/2010
Light Painting
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Light painting is a creative activity that involves creating striking images and illusions using a camera, a light source, and a little practice. Light paintings may be literal representations or impressionistic, color-filled images. When the camera shutter is open (and the room is dark) the film or digital sensor acts like a blank canvas onto which learners "paint" with a flashlight.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
10/10/2017
Science and Technology of Arts
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This site invites children of all ages to explore the science of music through movies, questions, and online exhibits. Compose, mix, and play with music in ways you probably haven't before. Find out what makes sad music sad, why some songs get stuck in your head, and how opera singers are able to sing notes that seem to last forever.

Subject:
Fine Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Date Added:
07/30/2004
Spherical Reflections
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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In this art meets science activity, learners pack silver, ball-shaped ornaments in a single layer in a box to create an array of spherical reflectors. Learners can use this as a tool to study the properties of spherical mirrors while creating colorful mosaic reflections. This is a great optics activity to use during the holiday season or any time of year.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Author:
California Department of Education
National Science Foundation
NEC Foundation of America
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
10/10/2017