Before there was an airplane, there were doodles of cool flying machines. And before there was a submarine, there were doodles of magical underwater sea explorers. Since the beginning of time, ideas big and small, practical and playful, have started out as doodles. And we’re ready for more. One talented young artist (grades K-12) will see his or her artwork on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school.
Participation is easy!
This year they're asking K-12 students to create their doodles based on the theme “If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place...” To enter the competition simply download the application form, print it, doodle your version of the Google logo based off this year's theme and submit online or by mail.
If you have any questions please visit the Doodle for Google FAQ page.
Last year I introduced 4th grade students to Soda Straw Rockets and they had a blast building, firing and measuring them. This year I was able to take what I had learned from my first experience and make things a lot smoother and a lot more engaging for all the students.
All the 4th grade students built and designed rockets during computers and then we launched them in the gym since our room was too small. Students had to record data on datasheets as well as work with a partner to measure all of the distances and try new approaches to firing their rockets.
Once all of our measuring was complete, the students entered their data into Excel to create graphs of their flights. The students were also able to manipulate data in Excel to see how computer graphing allows us to change results and make corrections without having to start over.
I completely admit that I am hooked on Kickstarter. Hear me out though! I am not spending tons of money buying things I don't need, but I love to browse all of the project ideas.
If you are not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a crowd-source funding website. That simply means that if someone has a an idea and needs money to help get the idea off the ground, they can use a website like Kickstarter to help raise funds for their project and the people who offer financial support, get something in return based on how much money they invested.
The first project I backed was Robot Turtles which is a game to teach children the basics of computer coding. The designer of the game needed funds to get the game into production and as a result, I was able to get one of the very first editions shipped to my house.
I have shown several projects to the students throughout the year and am talk to them regularly about having a good idea and going with it, even if it might sound a little silly to others.
Something that caught my eye recently was Strawbees. It's a simple connector that allows you to connect straws and cardboard together to build some amazing creations. It's a simple piece of plastic that has very little cost involved and allows for insane creativity.