Monday, November 16, 2009


Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students at Clear Spring School worked on Pangaea puzzles today as part of their study of earth science and continental drift. The idea is that students will become hands-on familiar with continent shapes and their locations while studying the forces through which continents were created. And it was fun. To begin the project, I downloaded a map of Pangaea from the Permian period, and used a graphics program to redraw and simplify the map so it could be cut apart into various continents using a coping saw as shown in the photo below. To prepare for the kid's work and to keep the surrounding frame intact, I used the scroll saw to liberate Pangaea from the surrounding Panthalassa Sea in preparation for the kid's work.
In the photo below, you can see my almost finished launcher for our high school physics competition. We worked on them today and the kids think mine is cool, but ineffective. We'll see. My combination compound crossbow catapult is designed to give the ammo a roll effect that may extend its range. I also plan to add a second bow, doubling its force.


  1. Hey, the Pangaea puzzle looks like a great idea for keeping students in touch with the continents in the layout of our world AND a great hands-on project to directly involve them "outside" the textbook. I also like that combination crossbow/catapult... just be sure that you don't leave it cocked when you turn your head as you know there's always that one student that... :-) Great work Doug!

  2. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Great combination of projects to get the students involved!


  3. Left to my own devices I wouldn't be anywhere near as creative. It is nice to work with the staff at CSS.

    Dave, you now how some days are not so good and others are splendid? This was a splendid day.