Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Science Camp: Sharpie T-Shrits

This is both a Summer Science Camp idea and a previous-post update.

The pinwheel Sharpie t-shirts are a great summer science camp project.  Take the shirts, markers and rubbing alcohol outside and get creative.  Bonus: when you're outside there's less worry about alcohol fumes bothering anyone!

The update: when I was getting ready to do this project with a group of 24 students, I was trying to find some enough of the same type of container to stretch the shirts around, without making a huge investment. 

I decided to with with 4" PVC pipe (available from hardware stores), cut into 5 or 6" lengths.  You do need a hacksaw to cut the pieces, and the cutting can be a bit messy, so you'll have to determine if this option makes sense for you. 

It worked quite well for several reasons:
  • The tie-dye designs don't usually go beyond 4", so it was plenty large.
  • The smaller size (as compared to a shoe box or dish pan) made it easier for young hands to manipulate and stretch the rubber band around.
  • The smaller size was nice for students sitting almost shoulder-to-shoulder at tables. 
The pictures included in this post are of shirts created by students in grades 3 through 5.

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