Spinnin' Paint: Engineering and Art

Today, children were observed in their classroom experimenting with “fidget spinners” in an interesting provocation. A variety of items were introduced so that the children could engineer parts to make the fidget spinner, well… spin. It was awesome to watch the ‘wheels turn’ as they figured out different ways to make the spinner function. This carried over to the studio. We brought along a spinner and used a model of one of the children’s classroom creations to station it on a large sheet of sturdy paper. Alongside the contraption were bottles of water color paint. The children were asked “now how can we make the fidget spinner paint?”  One child, ‘B.J.’ took the lead, immediately demonstrating how to spin the manipulative carefully so as not to knock it off the pen on which it was placed. With little prompt, he then proceeded to pour paint on the spinning object, causing it to splatter across the paper. The rest of the group eagerly joined in, quickly got the hang of it, and were cheerful and engaged as both engineers and artists!!!


Brandon: The paint poured on there and it splattered. It can’t fall though.

Jackie: Look!

Brandon: Yeah, it broke. We gotta hold it down for them so they can spin it.

Kayley: It makes the blue right there.

Jamarion: It flipped over.

Brandon: I gotta see if it still spins.

Kayley: It looks like icing (white paint).

David: See if it works.


Erin: Glue (white paint) come off!

Chrishelle: It went here and there.

Nadia: The thing makes a spinna(er). 

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