Catching Up Over Spring Break (Part 1)

I’m writing to you all from a lovely cafe in cloudy Portland, OR, a city that has welcomed me with its overcast skies, colorful parks, and nippy winds. It’s a nice change from good ole Hegenberger Road.

With Lighthouse on Spring Break this week, I’ve taken it upon myself to settle in here with an Italian dark roast and almond croissant, and catch you all up on everything that’s been happening at the Creativity Lab. I know, I know—my posts have been few and far apart lately, and I apologize. But I’m going to fix all of that. Right. Now.

So let’s go back two weeks ago, when Lighthouse hosted the Alameda County Office of Education’s “Math Faire.” Educators from the area presented a variety of hands-on math projects and games to help students grasp mathematical concepts. Allow me to offer you a quick glimpse into a few of these:

Robot Geometry—Similar to scribble machines, but with more control from an added programming element. It was a fun experiment in programming different number values to make the robots wheels turn in different ways, and making the robot draw different shapes.



In a lot of ways, the robot geometry reminded me of a physical version of—

Turtle Art—By now you’re probably all familiar enough with Turtle Art from my many posts on the subject. (But if you’re not, click here.) We had our own Turtle Art table at the Math Faire, with several of our 5th graders showing off some of their final projects from the semester.


IMG_2962Also, our updated Turtle Art project guide is now available for viewing on our projects page. (One more reason these posts are so behind!)

Native American Game Sticks—A game of probability. Students decorate a set of Popsicle sticks, each one with a “head” and “tails” side, then explore then different possibilities that they can land when dropped to a surface.


We also made our own peanut butter cups, to experiment with surface areas and ratios (of chocolate to peanut butter); used Legos to learn about averages; designed and printed our own measuring utensils using CAD software…I’ll try to let the pictures speak for themselves:

IMG_2948  IMG_2989 

IMG_2976  IMG_2978

IMG_2969  IMG_2970

IMG_2965  IMG_2971


So that was Math Faire. A long day, but not so bad. Of course, the week after (last Friday) we hosted our own day-long “Prototype Faire,” which really took it out of us—but more on that tomorrow. (I promise!)



David is the documentarian and professional development coordinator for the Creativity Lab. In 2014, he received a BA in creative writing from Louisiana State University, with focuses on short fiction and screenwriting. In partnering with New Orleans-based independent film company, Asymptote Pictures, his work has been featured in film festivals across the country. He likes his espresso maker, and vegetarian tacos.