Tag Archives: Journal

Weekly Wrap up: Portfolio are Done

In my life this week…

I just finished our portfolios. Literally she just left as I am writing this. It went fine. As I have mentioned before we are friends so it is a laid back thing. We do need to make sure that we cover everything.

View from the Top
View from the Top

I have been keeping up with my walks and recently changed my route. Now it is 7.5km and a 200m elevation gain. It has me huffing by the time I get to the top but I rewarded with some great views. There is a housing development going in up there and they have put in a golf course. The other morning I saw a Great Blue Heron in one of the water hazards. It took off before I could get a picture but it reminder me of my mom.

Crow on Fence Pole
Crow on Fence Pole
Sunrise
Sunrise

Cleaning…

I have not been cleaning as I have been making a loft bed for Ian. I have got all the wood cut and the two coats of primer on it. Hopefully by next weekend I will have it mostly built. I will still need to build the connecting platforms and stairs. Plus I am going to need a weekend of help getting the other two bed disassembled to the point we can get them out the door and everything put back together and connected.

In our homeschool this week…

Copper Plate Solar Cell
Copper Plate Solar Cell

This week has been all about finishing up our portfolio items. The most photogenic item for the week was Margaret’s experiment making a solar cell. We started with two sheets of copper. One we heated on the stove for 30 minutes. As you can see it started to glow. I was confident that it wouldn’t melt as I had a decent idea of its melting point but Margaret wasn’t quite sure. We looked up the melting point (1085 C) and used an infrared thermometer to take its temperature. It was at 300C, well below melting. We then put the copper in a cut down pop bottle with salt water. We connected it up to a multimeter and got some amperage in the milliamp range. Adding a light did increase the readings.

Heating Copper Plate
Heating Copper Plate

Books I’m Reading…

I just finished reading “Castle in the Air’ by Diane Wynne Jones. It is the second in a series which starts with “Howl’s Moving Castle” I first watched the animated movie and liked it immensely. I looked online and found that it was based on a book which I of course had to read. This being the second book did not disappoint. I don’t think it could match the first but there is a third. I highly recommend both the first book and the movie. If you like those the second book is well worth the read.

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Weekly Wrap up: Beaver STEM Night

In my life this week…

We had another STEM night at Beavers this week. We had a short discussion on simple machines and then did two activities. The first activity was lifting a concrete block. I expected that none of the kids would be able to lift it without the pulleys but they all did. Then I hooked it up to a set of six pulleys and of course it was easier with some minor duct tape tuning of the method. We also talked about how far back we had to walk to get it to move. The amount of work is always the same.

Simple Machines Pinball
Simple Machines Pinball

The second activity was was a pinball table made from an aluminum pan, cardboard lever, and straws. The kids had a lot of fun with this one but was to noisy for them to hear the explanation of inclined planes and levers. Oh well, they had fun.

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I did some more quilling and tried some of the photographing tips I stole last week. I like this picture better than any that I have done of them but I still think the picture of the butterfly from last week is the best. This weeks quilling has been a dragonfly that is still in pieces and koala bear that I actually made a while ago. I was washing a salsa jar and realized that he fit perfectly. I just had to make the base and mount him. He is quite a bit smaller than the rest of them.

Quilled Koala Bear
Quilled Koala Bear

Cleaning…

I didn’t get as much done this week as I had originally planned. My wife did go through the books and as I expected she did rescue a few but we took three overflowing boxes of books to the thrift store. Overall I took six boxes. It is always such a wonderful feeling to actually have the items out of the house. It is like a weight has been lifted or a breath of fresh air.

In our homeschool this week…

Margaret did her experiments with the potato batteries. We managed to knock the number down to 8. She tested two types, cooked by various methods and the placement of the copper and the zinc probes. We had her use the same potato for the seven different distances. I was surprised with the results that she still needs to write up into a proper report.

Philip Tool Box
Philip Tool Box

Philip is almost finished his toolbox with Grandpa. He has some finishing work to do and I need something of a report out of him. I think for the sake of simplicity and and my sanity I will make it oral.

Books I’m Reading…

I just finished a book I bought after our Worldcon trip this summer. The author was a guest on one of the Writing Excuses episodes that I watched being recorded. The description she gave of her book was more than enough for me to go buy it. The premise is that magic works on man-made materials. So for example you can be a paper magician otherwise known as a ‘folder’. Origami and magic sold me. It was a quick YA read but I quite enjoyed it. I have ordered the other two books in the series. She has another book coming out this summer where the person magically infuses her baked goods with emotions and abilities. With my love of baking I can’t wait for that one.

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Weekly Wrap up: Winter Link Camp

In my life this week…

It has been another two relatively uneventful weeks. The kids and my wife did go to an winter camp with all levels of scouting. Each group sets up a station that the kids go through. They did all sort of things like throwing knives and starting fires. We have lot of photos of Ian on the camp mainly because he got to do a lot of really cool stuff for his age.

Ian Chopping Wood
Ian Chopping Wood
Ian Throwing a Hatchet
Ian Throwing a Hatchet
Ian Making Tinder with really big knife
Ian Making Tinder with really big knife
Ian Lighting Tinder
Ian Lighting Tinder

As you can see he did manage to light the tinder but not get the fire going. Just lighting the the tinder with flint and steel is quite a challenge.

Quilled Dolphin
Quilled Dolphin

I have been making some more quilled creations. A friend of mine is getting to go on a student exchange to Australia for a year starting this summer. She needs to raise a lot of money so I have made these to be used as raffle prizes or whatever else she comes up with to make money with them. I took the photo of the dolphin and she took the photo of the butterfly as I forgot. I am going to have to steal some of her tricks for photographing these.

Quilled Butterfly
Quilled Butterfly

Cleaning…

I am just about done with the downstairs. I went through all our book shelves and sorted. As you can see there is a lot that I want to get rid of but I need my wife to check it over and veto stuff. It is tough getting rid of books. These are all that haven’t been touched in years and a lot are very out of date programming books.

Books to donate
Books to donate

The empty area will eventually be the kids new bedroom. The five bins are full of stuffies. NO MORE STUFFIES!!! The area looks smaller in the photo than it really is.

New Bedroom
New Bedroom

In our homeschool this week…

Well we have three weeks to our portfolios. We have a lot of science to do in the next three weeks. Margaret is going to be experimenting with potato batteries and seeing if size, type, cooking, or cutting change the power available. She told me today that she needs 28 yellow and 28 russets…

Hydraulic Arm
Hydraulic Arm

We have ordered a light box kit with lens, mirror etc for Philip but it hasn’t arrived yet. So we decided to cover off some of the other requirements and he built a hydraulic arm. We haven’t seen it work yet as we are waiting for the glue to dry.

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