Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fwd: Curiosity Machine Tips and Highlights

Ella made it to the Curiosity Machine's first e-newsletter (scroll to the bottom right). So cool!!!

The Curiosity Machine is a truly wonderful resource for parents and I encourage everyone to try it. Give it a chance! There are a few "easy" project for first time users. Try the bird-glider or the bird-beak ones. If you're having some difficulty, just give me a holler and I'll be more than happy to walk you through it.

Thanks for reading!


Begin forwarded message:

From: Iridescent Curiosity Machine <curiosity@iridescentlearning.org>
Date: July 23, 2013, 5:38:30 PM PDT
To: Curious-Alexa <emmavictoria@yahoo.com>
Subject: Curiosity Machine Tips and Highlights
Reply-To: Iridescent Curiosity Machine <curiosity@iridescentlearning.org>

Curiosity Machine Tips and Highlights

Welcome to the Curiosity Machine!
View this email in your browser

Curiosity, Courage and Persistence
Welcome to an exciting world of experimentation, creation and learning!
You're receiving this letter because you registered for the Curiosity Machine at some point. We want to keep you up to date on the stories of many children who are learning about science and engineering with the Curiosity Machine support. 

What is the Curiosity Machine?

The Curiosity Machine is an interactive online community where families can connect with scientists and engineers and get the support to complete design challenges in their own home. We inspire children to become deeply curious about the world around us, brave to try new challenges and persistent to achieve and succeed.

In the Curiosity Machine, families can:
1. Watch videos to learn about the work of scientists and engineers
2. Build related design challenges, and share your adventures online.
3. Receive feedback from scientists and engineers so that your family can improve your designs. Keep submitting and resubmitting, earning badges for being persistent, engaged, and increasing your understanding of the scientific concepts and engineering design process.

This summer Iridescent has been running programs across the country making use of Curiosity Machine design challenges, from summer camps in San Francisco and New York to summer library programs in L.A. and Chicago. Learners have been posting projects and receiving feedback from mentors on projects done at these sessions. But don't forget, the Curiosity Machine isn't just for use in on-site programs—in fact, it's designed for at-home use, where you'll have time to invent and troubleshoot your design based on mentor feedback.

Curiosity Corner

This month, user Coco3130 from New York tackled the "Build a Gliding Bird" challenge, designing a model that flew 95 inches! She received feedback from Mentor Jess Frisciawho is an Environmental Engineer working with Langor at MIT, and tested out another very different design, using construction paper instead of poster board to construct a design with a shorter, narrower wingspan to determine the effect of such changes on the flight of the model. Great way to use new materials in your design! 
Melanie the scientist tested multiple designs to explore the effects of wing shape and wing length on flight, in the Build a Bird design challenge. The differences in designs are significant - and really well documented with great pictures uploaded to the project page! With the second design, Melanie used much narrower wings, which helped the bird fly further. Mentor Jess Friscia asked why that might be so and Melanie explained that the design was "bigger and skinnier" adding length that improved the model's ability to glide.
Curious Ella looked to nature in the San Francisco Bay Area to "Engineer a bird beak" that could pick up as much food as possible. Curious Ella modeled her design after a pelican's beak, using pencils and plastic spoons to build a long model. Her design also incorporated a paperclip hook at the end of the beak—a creative addition! Mentor Diana LaScala Gruenewalda marine biologist at Stanford Hopkins Marine Station, was curious about ideas for design changes that might help the beak crush rice rather than lift it. 

Get Started!

Take a look at the website, and keep an eye out for this newsletter every Monday. Each week we will highlight examples of really excellent project submissions for inspiration.  We'll also include links for suggested projects that make a great place to join in on the action yourself!

Technical Troubles?

If you registered a student under the age of 13 but don't have access to the website, we have not received a Parental Consent Form. This form is required to activate younger students' accounts as it protects their privacy and demonstrates that you are aware of your child's account on the Curiosity Machine.

To activate your child's account, please:
1. Download Parental consent form.
2. Sign it. You can use electronic signatures to speed up the process.
3. Send it back to us at:

e-mail: Curiosity@IridescentLearning.org
fax***: (888) 519-0108
532 W. 22nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Additionally, if you've registered as an educator, you will be able to observe on the Curiosity Machine, but not build. If you would like to build, you'll need to register as a learner. If you registered as an educator and need to change your account type, or are experiencing any other problems, please get in touch with curiosity@iridescentlearning.org.

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