(This post also appears in our SCDSB 194 Days of Learning Blog!)
I work with a phenomenal team of people. We don't always see a great deal of each other throughout the week as we pop in and out of the office on our way to and from schools across the county. One way we keep in touch is through Twitter. (You can see what our entire team has been tweeting by checking out Pat Miller's list here: https://twitter.com/pmillerscdsb/lists/pit-2015-16).
Tuesday evening, I saw this tweet:
Turn your Smartphone into a 3D Hologram | 4K @szwildcat guess what we're making tomorrow! #steam @scdsbmath https://t.co/qYdZwhlGbq— SCDSB Arts (@jamilamonahan) September 22, 2015
Turn your Smartphone into a 3D hologram? Let's just say this: if you want to do an 'upcycling' project to create a device that turns iPads and smartphones into hologram viewers, you don't need to twist any arms in our department. Those of us who were going to be in the office Wednesday morning offered to bring supplies, and we were off and running.
In the morning we got down to business, creating templates for our CD case pieces on millimetre graph paper, carefully cutting out plastic pieces with utility knives, and trying out different types of glue to see what would best hold our device together. In true PIT fashion, we streamed the whole process on Periscope and viewers from all over the world checked in to see what we were making.
In the end? It worked. (It's really neat; you should try it.) But what happened next was what made this more than just an impromptu craft activity. We tried to improve upon our original design. We built a couple of larger templates. We talked about other materials we could use. We shared our project with nearby colleagues inside and outside the department. We discussed all of the curriculum connections (math, science, art, etc.) that this activity could support. We discussed classroom safety concerns and modifications for different age groups.
Do you think we'd allow our learning to stop there? Of course not! Later that day when we went home we shared the hologram devices with our families and continued to create bigger, better, and different devices. I made one out of an acetate sheet. My husband used my model to create a template for making more, and proceeded to use this as an activity with his math class on Thursday.
— Amy Szerminska (@szwildcat) September 23, 2015
All of us shared our learning with our families and let our own children check out the holograms. They were a big hit. Lisa Boate used her dog's e-collar to build a larger hologram device that she took to a school with her the following day to share with a students. Their reaction sums up the way we all felt about our first glimpse of one of these holograms:
@pmillerscdsb @SCDSB_Arts @szwildcat @mapleviewheights students amazed by holograms! #sofun #STEAM #SCDSB_Schools pic.twitter.com/9NRb2XCGv0— SCDSB Math (@scdsbmath) September 24, 2015
Jamila recognized the power of the hologram activity to inspire. I am grateful to her for running with this inspiration and I know that all the thanks she really needs is to see the ripple effect it created.
Sometimes it is OK to drop everything for the sake of making something beautiful. (As long as you have the appropriate safety equipment, of course!)