Wednesday, November 30, 2016

KIPP - Preparing for the Holidays, November 2016

November hours - 10
Total hours - 28
***NOTE*** - December post contains final semester hours

Out of our several trips to KIPP this month, my personal favorite was the Friday right before Thanksgiving break. We were to be split into two groups for two separate tasks. Fortunately for me, I arrived early and was given the chance to select which task I preferred. I has to choose between being a “Tree-Maker” or a “Refrigerator-Emptier.” Though, I never acquired an aptitude for arts and crafts, being a Tree-Maker still seemed better than helping rid one of the communal refrigerators of expired food.

THE TASK - The teachers needed trees composed of construction paper. The plan was for students to make paper ornaments with their names on them, to then decorate the trees. I admit that initially I was fearful that our trees would be subpar, especially considering the importance that children place on Christmas in general.

We were provided green and brown construction paper and various tools: scissors, glue-sticks, etc.

PRODUCT INSTRUCTIONS -  trees about 7 feet long with a “small trunk.”

I would argue that this description of the final product was vague and insufficient. Thus, I did not feel too guilty, when our prototype-design was declined. We made a typical tree with a cloud-like green portion, about 4ft in height, with a 3ft, brown trunk. 

Interestingly, all the Tree-Makers (including myself) failed to acknowledge that “holiday trees” are pine trees. Thus, they should have triangular top portions with a very small trunk. We altered our design accordingly, and used Figure 1 (below) to guide us.

The tricky part about the updated design was how to go about creating the “zig-zags” for the "layers." Unsurprisingly, I had a stroke of innovative brilliance, and created what I later came to refer to as the “Right-Triangle Method.”

RIGHT -TRIANGLE METHOD - Starting from the bottom of the green paper, we made right triangles along the sides, and topped the tree off with a large isosceles cut. My RT method was moderately effective at creating that layered look we desired.

I was very proud of the 5 trees we produced. The teachers seemed very pleased with our final product, and more importantly, I think the trees will pass the inspection performed by the harshest critics—the kids.

Figure 2 - Me throwing away some of the green paper scraps

Figure 3 - My engineer team implementing the "Right-Triangle" Method