The sensation of sailing begins!

It was an amazing start to the week! The sun was shining, the wind was quiet and water still. Children started arriving for the programme with an explosion of energy and excitement. There were some intense reunions too, holiday pals reconnecting all over again. I think my favourite moment involved Thomas and Joel. When Joel arrived he asked about Thomas. When Thomas walked in the gate he asked about Joel. When they saw each other it was the with a huge cry of delight and serious hug…and then they were off side-by-side for the rest of the day. Their collaborative model raft was the outcome of some serious discussions and experiments! The picture shows their absolute delight!

The day was spent working towards this moment when a model raft had been created. After a good deal of catching up and playing outside in the sunshine, everyone came indoors to apply their creative minds to the goal of the week…creating a home made raft for the sailing regatta on Thursday. To start the process we came together – all 35 children – to talk and think about the project. We found out that a lot of children had had experience building rafts before. They knew it needed to be be balanced, have heavy weight to hold it in the water and have some system to move it around the water. We talked about creating a diagram. Some children knew what this was – a picture with words added on that told you about materials and features of the object you were looking at. The group discussion came to an end by looking at picture of rafts created by other people around the world and then they were off.

We worked in our separate groups for step one of the design process – creating a diagram.I think it was the spelling of words which was the hardest part.

Once the children had a diagram and an idea of the supplies they needed they moved on to step two – creating a model of their raft. This construction process was intense and thrilling – it involved working with lots of different recycled materials, bamboo, glue guns, nails, string, saws, hammers, cable ties and all other forms of fun stuff.

Once the model was built the final step in the design process was testing the model to see if floats!

It was amazing to see how they worked together; how they figured out how to translate their drawings into something 3-D; how they resolved design challenges! The day ended with each group selecting the model they all liked the most. In Patsy’s group it was the “Super Raft” by Nandi. In Clare’s group it was Bella’s design which is yet to be named. My group chose Quill’s “Potato Craft” and Bridget’s group is working on an amalgamation from the designs of Juni, Lula, Fynn and Iman called the “Black Pearl”. These models are what the group raft will be based on…construction starts tomorrow so keep a look out for some interesting creations on the vlei if you are passing by!

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