The Fribourg Foundation recently collaborated on a STEAM event with Big Brothers Big Sisters headed by one of TFF's founding board members and a Big Brother himself, Sebastian Squire.
During the event, children learned the difference between STEM and STEAM and discovered how origami intersects with science. For those who are unfamiliar with the distinction, the "A" in STEAM stands for arts, while the other letters stand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Working with Big Brothers Big Sisters and brilliant kids eager to have fun with STEAM was a delightful experience that we look forward to repeating.
Below are some of the children's favorite aspects of how origami and science converge.
Unusual Uses for Origami: Enjoy the small(er) things
ONAK: The Origami Canoe
ONAK is a life-sized origami canoe. It’s designed to fold up for easy storage, transport, and reassembly. Traditional canoes, on the other hand, can be expensive and take up a lot of room. With this origami canoe, you can store it in your closet or car trunk, then unpack it and take it out on the water for a relaxing escape. How cool is that?
The Tiny Origami Robot
If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, you’ll love this. MIT researchers have designed a mini-robot measuring only 1.7cm long that can change its shape and fold itself up like an origami-bot. This diminutive drone can also self-dissolve to destroy all traces of its existence. It looks like nothing more than a wafer, yet this mini-robot can reach speeds of up to 3cm per second and swim. Go, STEAM!
Try building your own origami boat.
Work with Us
Interested in collaborating on a STEM or STEAM event with The Fribourg Foundation? We'd love to discuss it with you! Please contact us here (Attention: Sebastian Squire).
If you are an educator, a writer, and/or work in a STEAM-related field interested in promoting STEM and STEAM for kids or adults via our blog or social media, please contact us here (Attention: Editor Candice Hamilton).
A fun and effective way to sharpen and build math skills in children over school break and summer time is with games and activities they naturally enjoy. Here are five ways you can entertain them, get that quality time in, and increase their mathematic aptitude with or without telling them math is involved.
1. Play "store" with kids to boost math skills.
Use real coins, so they can practice counting and calculating change. Have you ever met a child that didn't love pretending to shop with their own money and play cashier?
2. Cook with children to teach them scrumptious, sneaky math.
Measuring ingredients, calculating temperature and cooking time, learning to divide foods in halves, etcetera is delicious, duplicitous math fun!
3. Involve the kids in your shopping for real-world math experience. (Drink more coffee first.)
Let them participate in counting products needed (half-dozen apples = 6; dozen eggs = 12, or one box), comparing prices and calculating savings, and the like.
4. Practice telling time naturally with little ones to give them an early math advantage.
It can be as simple as asking and pointing out the time throughout the day, week, entire school break. "Oh, look! The short hand is on the 12, and the long hand is on the 6. What time is it?"
5. Play number-themed scavenger hunts for a fun kids' activity that increases math skills.
For example, give the kids empty goodies bags (or baskets) and tell them to fill them with 100 things. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a little you-time while they have fun searching and counting and gaining an appreciation for higher numbers.
In addition to the above five activities, you can also look for social games that require counting or grouping, or calculating like simplified Dominoes, Monopoly, Connect Four, and Trouble for younger kids. The point is to have fun, thereby slipping in the math practice and linking it with something positive (which you and your child will appreciate down the road).
Math is the universal language!
This was first published on our Facebook Page.
Not too long ago it was Science Week in Madrid, Spain. And, as a science mom, the part where I can contribute is science education. I was invited to participate with other science parents in activities at my daughter’s school. We visited several classrooms to get them familiar with two concepts: yeast digestion and chromatography.
To make things a little interesting, we saw how yeast inflates balloons when producing carbon dioxide (CO2):
And using chromatography, the children made beautiful flowers that they could take home:
Afterward, I also shared chromatography concepts with kids at a children’s fair where a science NGO called Apadrina la Ciencia had a stand teaching fascinating science for kids like DNA, microscopes, density experiments, flies (in the picture below), and more!
Each child had a different take on the activities they carried and every one of them had something to say. Some of them remembered the experiment from previous years and wanted to try again. None of them wasted their time, even if what they were doing was just a flower.
Some day, when someone says “chromatography” in a science class, they will have a vague but beautiful memory of a colorful flower, and science won’t sound dry or lame. To me that’s so worth it.