Friday, November 15, 2013

Current Projects

I mentioned in a previous post that I added 'personal project' to each of the boys' weekly schedules. I thought I'd give a quick update on where they both are in their projects.

EM is working his way through his robotics book. Today he made a solenoid using a straw, wire, AAA battery, electrical tape, and a needle. At first we couldn't get it to work right, but after a little tweaking, we had success. You can see the working project in the video. Tomorrow we are making the first of what I know will be MANY treks to Radio Shack.

JT continues to work on his food web game. This week he has been play-testing the rough draft to see if they can keep a stable ecosystem for five game years. At one point today, I saw him working on the computer. I thought he was doing his math, but when I asked him, he said he was researching black bears. He felt he needed more detail on the black bear card for the game. Fighting back the urge to push him to do the math that needed to be done, I let him follow the path he was on until he was ready to shift gears. It's not always easy for me to do that. In the end, I think it worked out well because he found what he needed AND did the math without any arguing.

You light up my life.

This picture shows the center of game play. As in all real food webs, the Sun is the source of energy for the system. Right now, JT is using LEGO pieces to show the connections in the web, but later plans to find something more appropriate. The cards are all still hand drawn. I've been very impressed with the amount of time he spends researching as he makes his cards. Each card represents a different plant or animal. When he has his rough draft cards completed, we will help him find appropriate software to make them more professional.

game in progress
JT also spends a good deal of time thinking through the actual game play. He wants to be sure that it moves at a good pace and keeps the interest of the players. EM has been playing with him and decided he didn't want to finish the current game all in one sitting. Having a brother as your guinea pig may not be a good idea. It's hard to know if he's just bored or being spiteful. I think we'll end up calling Daddy in as a substitute to get a more honest opinion. I am not a huge game player, so I wouldn't be a good choice.

I like to see the boys following their interests on a regular basis. It's been a busy week for me due to an ongoing remodeling of the living room. Their projects are keeping them engaged and allowing me to get the necessary work done without needing to watch over their every move.

Now if only their interests could be something like painting the living room for me...

But that would be too good to be true.

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