Thursday, June 13, 2019

2019 Summer Camp Planning: Housebuilding

This was a two week long Summer Camp which included two field trips:

    a straw bale house in Week 1
    Dayempur Farm (Anna IL)

    a geodesic dome in Week 2
    Missouri Botanical Garden's Climatron (St. Louis MO)

Last year I offered this topic as a one week camp; this year I offered it as a two week camp. So the interesting thing was to figure out how to organize the time to best fit in all of the projects that we had to rush on last year!

Here was our flow of lessons & activities:

Before Camp Begins
Friday, May 24 - set up shake jar to test the soil for cob building projects

Week One

Monday - Introduction & Overview


    look at results of shake jar test, begin to clear foundations for four shelters (wild strawberry, magnolia, cypress, rose), hang tarps


    mix batches of cob in different ratios (clay, sand, straw, water)
    do snowball test, form bricks and watch for cracking as they dry

    look at Montessori materials from Waseca Biomes (Biome Map of the World and its map key, Biome Continent Puzzles, Continent Stencils)

    use Biome Cards of the Continents - People/Shelter and the Globe of the Continents: Colored for independent research (these three part cards include a type of shelter for every biome on every continent)

    using graph paper to sketch plans for shelters and cob furniture

    do burrito test, dancing large batches of cob on the tarp!

    start Teifoc kits: beginner brick construction set, small cottage, doghouse, piggery, horse stable, watermill, church (plus extra trowels, extra mortar, and extra pieces for the lighthouse project)

Tuesday - Cob Building Team Projects & Special Guest


    Baobab House in Traditional Houses from Around the World, #6

    pull soft spongy center out of sourdough bread bowls - Panera


    special guest Jim King - designer and builder of straw bale house & timber frame house at Dayempur Farm

    continue digging clay and mixing batches of cob, Teifoc brick kits


    museum planning - begin poster projects

Wednesday - Field Trip - Dayempur Farm - Farm Day

    help with farm tasks (wash free range chicken eggs, harvest veg), tour of timber frame house and straw bale house, picnic lunch

    build with Lincoln logs

Thursday - Model Making & Poster Projects

    How Do People Live? by Philip Steele

    museum planning - location of displays, shopping list of supplies

    make sure there is a project for every biome

    Deserts, Grasslands, Mountains, Temperate Forest, Tropical Forest, Wetlands, Oceans, Polar Regions

    rework outdoor forts & cob projects as needed after big rainstorm



Friday - Model Making & Poster Projects


    set up biome puzzle map display, discuss Backyard Biome tapestry

    consider hands-on museum activities for parents to do:
    puzzle maps, weaving on the tapestry, Teifoc bricks & mortar, wet felting, bread bowl, mixing batches of cob, baobab granola to sample


    work on models (mountain cave houses with self hardening clay, decorated houses of Ndebele, Amazon rain forest stilt house)


    wet felting flat pieces of wool with bubble wrap for Mongolian yurts
    I needle-felted dome shaped base pieces of wool batting

Week Two

Mon/Tue/Wed - Workshopping
continue to work on museum exhibits daily, finish individual & group projects

Monday - Modern Houses

Tuesday - Fantasy Houses

    create fantasy house cityscape mural...
    can your parent tell which house is yours?




Wednesday - A Sense of Place




    Morning Altars
    "Place Remembering" pages 50-55

    discuss Buckminster Fuller and the geodesic dome, cut straws
    35 straws - pink & orange - 20 inches long
    30 straws - green & yellow - 17.5 inches long

    driving home today after camp - stop at Labyrinth Peace Park to walk labyrinth, look at geodesic dome overhead and study its geometry

Thursday - Sacred Geometry

    Morning Altars
    "Being a Guest," pages 56-57
    "A Place Meditation," pages 58-59
    create a morning altar as a group

    "Home" collaborative Wordle

    attempt to build the geodesic dome with extra-long straws

      Did You Know:
      A geodesic dome must be built using two different lengths of struts or the math will not work out correctly.

      Use to help you do the math. This is an amazing website. Simply put in the radius of the dome you wish to build, and it will tell you how long to make your struts and how many of each length you will need, plus how many connectors of each type you will need. At the base you are connecting four straws and then you will alternate between connecting five straws and connecting six straws.

      We used paperclips linked together in little bunches as our connectors. Making the connections in advance helps. Then, they simply slide inside the straw and they stay put very neatly. Our design used 65 straws (some 20 inches and some 17.5 inches) to make a dome almost 6 feet across.

      Don't forget to click on the ASSEMBLY DIAGRAM link on the webpage. I highly recommend that you cut your two lengths out of different colored straws so you can easily tell them apart during assembly. And you will also need a group of long-armed and patient people to help hold the pieces as they come together! We succeeded in this project last year but this year it was too much, so we edited it out of the museum.

Thursday Expo / Museum Walk 3-5 pm

to buy: baobab granola (Kroger), small paper cups, bread bowl (Panera)

Friday - Field Trip - Missouri Botanical Garden - Climatron

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