Thursday, August 28, 2014

D's Spice Box, Part I

We are working on a project in my class that explains 'our culture.'

What I have done so far: I've researched what my parents' cultures are. Then me and my mom brainstormed a couple of ideas and I decided that I wanted to make a box with spices from all of the countries that my ancestors came from. I searched all of the main spices of each country's cuisine.

  • The Philippines has tamarind, ginger, sili.
  • People in Spain use coriander, bay leaves, saffron, and paprika.
  • Portugal has cinnamon, celery salt, paprika, and bay leaves.
  • In Germany, they use caraway, bay leaves, juniper berries, and white pepper.
  • Ireland they cook with thyme, rosemary, and sage.
  • In Sweden, they use cardamom, saffron, all spice, ginger, and dill.

After we made our list, we shopped for all of the spices at Whole Foods. When we got home, I made the box for all of the spices out of a recycled shoe box.

Next: I need to fill the box with all of the spices and write my essay about my culture. I have to go to bed now.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wood Gasifier Stove for #makercamp2014

I made a wood gas stove this summer for Maker Camp, #makercamp2014. 
Wood Gasifier Stove
by R, Grade 7
Story of Inspiration
I have seen the name wood gas stove or wood gasifier stove around a few times but I didn’t know what it was. Then I read about it in Makezine number 27 on page 136.

How it Works
This stove is basically an efficient wood chip burner. The smoke and gas that comes out of the wood chips when they are burned is still flammable. In a regular fire some of that gas is not burned. 

Wood chips are put in the middle can with the grate and are lit on fire. The holes at the bottom of the whole stove and the grate allow the fire to be fed with plenty of oxygen. The wood chips start to put out their smoky gas. This gas rises up through the wood and lights on fire. Gas also escapes through the holes at the bottom of the middle can and rises. This gas goes through the holes at the top of the middle can and it also lights on fire. Those are the secondary burners. The wood chips will burn and you will have to keep adding wood chips. Then just use it as a stove.

What We Did With It
My brother and I used the wood gasifier stove a lot during our family's 10-day camping trip. I used it to heat water and we made tea and hot chocolate. One night we even cooked dinner - sausages! - on it so my mom didn't have to cook over the fire. And, after dinner one evening, my brother and I roasted marshmallows in the stove.

It's neat to make something that isn't just a creation, but it's a useful creation. I'm pretty sure that my mom would agree with that.

Makey Makey for #makercamp2014

We received a complimentary Makey Makey for participating in #makercamp2014, but you can purchase directly from Makey Makey: here.

Makey Makey
by D, Grade 5

What: The Makey Makey is a simple machine that sends an electrical pulse through a wire that is connected to your hand. It runs through your body and connects to another wire. That wire connect to the Makey Makey and completes the circuit. You're the button!

When you tap an object that's connected to a certain section of the Makey Makey, it sends a command to the Makey Makey. The Makey Makey transforms the signal to something the computer can read.

How I used it: I used the Makey Makey to type, to play the piano, and make a drum out of oranges.

To make the drum out of oranges, I connected the wires to the Makey Makey and connected another wire to my foot, attached to aluminum foil. It sent a signal from my foot through my hand. When I tapped the orange, the signal went back to the Makey Makey to tell it to make a noise. It was easy! And fun!

Looking Forward: I can't wait to make a guitar out of it. That's my next project with the Makey Makey.