thank you for sending me an angel

So the kids got their first ‘zines, which were supposed to be their end-of-year project in June, finished in… August? But that’s fine. I had given them two summer Final Exams. One, they actually got done in the summer — it was walking to Acme with their friends, without adults. That was an adventure and…

pinbox 3000, greek mythology version

Purchased many months ago at a Bread and Puppet performance, this tabletop, cardboard pinball-machine kit has been hanging out, not-quite-done, for some time now. The kids knew they wanted to personalize it and had decided on a theme of — surprise! — Greek Mythology. While they had begun printing images of gods online and gluing…

synthesizer boy

A few weeks ago I got the kids the Little Bits/KORG twelve-piece magnetic synthesizer kit. Tuck and Béla went at it, trying it out, and then it got put away for a week or so. But today it came out again. Claudia played with it for a little while. Then Béla went back to it,…

STEM fun

Okay. In two days, it’s June. I’m like a dead worm now. I still have a short list of things I’d like them to finish before the end of the school year and it looks so… obtainable… and yet… They are enjoying their once-a-week Snapology class. Only two sessions left! And, because Claudia had gotten…

strandbeest

Sometimes there’s no point in adding any commentary because just listening to them talk (in this case, Béla), it’s obvious that we don’t need to “test” them very much to see that they learn. He has had this model for POSSIBLY half his life. He and Tucker finished it in two hours. I really don’t…

march for science, philadelphia

Last Monday, Tucker finally accepted an offer into a graduate program — one that we were all excited about. We had been waiting for that moment since September 21, the day he took his GRE. (Moments after putting his phone in his locker to take the GRE, we received the call that my father would…

first gauge swatches; first sweaters for friends.

Because every stuffed friend needs an acrylic knit muscle shirt for the Philadelphia summer. While Claudia has completed a small blanket in the past, she’d also spent two years working in the round on something that might have been a “skirt” or might not have been… anyway, we decided it was time to get down…

also, earlier this week…

New comic books — about the chupacabra and La Borinqueña. Well-received. That watch that showed up from my dad’s house and has been beeping intermittently for months? We took care of that, with some goggles and a hammer. Some pals came by and played Clue, in the dark, by candlelight, with a simulated thunderstorm on…

blinded by science!

SO! MUCH! SCIENCE! This face is why he gets to be oxytocin in the March for Science in two weeks. Was his oxytocin model something you had wanted to know MORE about, by any chance? Oh good. Also, Claudia had some time this week working with Tucker in the atomic force microscope lab. Well —…

please stand by

In the last week or so the kids have done some great things: A Nonviolent Direct Action Workshop. Robotic LEGO Boat-Building. They’ve also been home with a very emotional mom — one of my old and dear friends is very ill and is on life-support. Somehow though, even though it looked iffy until THE very…

“blizzard” = hardcore contraption making

It wasn’t so much of a blizzard as a “really unpleasant day outside”. We are still working on our Rube Goldberg contraption although we are now happily aware it cannot withstand the rigors of the Philly Contraption Contest. But I mean — what better way to plan for next year? Here’s Baba Yaga amongst the…