Kindergarten Sculpts with Sand

Continuing their work with sand, kindergarteners were given the opportunity to work with a mixture of sand, water, and corn starch – which will harden and keep its form over time. In order to make the mixture, you have to heat it to activate the properties of the cornstarch.

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They were also given a variety of materials to add to their sculptures.  Many of the materials were reused — found at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.

Sand Construction 023And then they were set free to create their own sculptures.

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And then you have 48 wonderful, creative, sandy sculptures!

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Sand Construction 061In order to make the mixture, mix two parts sand, one part cornstarch, and one part cold water.  Mix the ingredients together while cold and then heat until thickened.  When it is ready, the white water will have disappeared (as in the photo at the top of the post – and I cooked it for a few minutes after that).  The image below shows what the mixture looks like before it is cooked.

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To make enough for a class of 24 students, I mixed a total of 12 cups of sand, 6 cups of water, and 6 cups of corn starch together.  In order to make it easier to stir, I recommend splitting the recipe into two batches.

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About Aaron Vanderwerff

Aaron Vanderwerff is passionate about engaging students in making and independent inquiry in the classroom, particularly students underrepresented in STEM fields. Vanderwerff currently oversees design and making programs at Lighthouse, which includes coaching teachers and facilitating professional development. This effort came out of his making class, which culminates in students exhibiting their independent projects at the Maker Faire. Vanderwerff has taught high school science in the Bay Area for the past ten years. Before joining Lighthouse, he taught ninth-grade physics and was science department chair at San Lorenzo High School, and taught math in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso.