Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Callin' in Bill

Happy 39th Birthday Bill! Cupcakes and plans for dinner out were left before I walked out this morning.

A big, huge thank you to the birthday boy, man, man-boy, whatever for taking on Ben's recent Enterprise Activity/Economics Fair for his 2nd grade class.  Before you say, "are YOU the one that tapes a diaper, paycheck stub, and a Target bag to your classroom board to teach the Circular Flow of Money in your desire to make every last one of us economic nerds? Why yes I do, but Bill jumped on the chance to help Ben pick something tech related he could create.

Hence the LED throwie that Ben mass produced for the Economics Free Enterprise Fair at school today.

The assignment was simple, the students have been earning classroom money for the last weeks to spend at the fair.  Each student had to mass produce 15 like items that could not be food or candy related.  Ben's teacher gave out a project sheet with suggestions, Bill almost immediately thought of something that Ben's fellow 7 and 8 year old peers would want to part with their dollars to buy.  Ben had already told me of some of the items HE planed to buy including a tomahawk made of sponges and a bad dream eraser that he assured me would work on adults too.

The project uses the following fairly cheap materials:  10 mm diffused LED in multiple colors, 3 V lithium battery, 1/8 " thick nickle and copper plated magnet, and a roll of black duck tape.  We didn't use the conductive epoxy that is optional and substituted duck tape for strapping tape.  Bill spend around $20 online for all items and created a test version before pitching to Ben.

Bill helped Ben assemble each throwie and then bagged each with a message printed on cardstock that included how to use the on/off switch, replace the battery, the online project instructions, and a warning that the magnet was strong and not to allow small children to handle.  Way to go Bill for being his own Consumer Product Safety Commission!  The process took about 2 hours to create all 15 and bag and tag them for the Economics fair.

I was really proud of Ben for the amount of help he put in without whining about having to spend part of the weekend doing school work.  I was really proud and appreciative of Bill for taking this on without complaint and picking something that was truly a joint parent/child project.  Double win all around.

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