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I need help thinking of inexpensive projects for middle school students: arts, field trips, educational, whatever. ?

This is optional for them, but I want the kids to want to participate in these projects, so they need to be appealing. They can be fairly complicated, as we can do them over a period of time. The kids are 13-14 years old.

6 Replies

hishealer (author)2009-10-23

I really enjoyed making marshmallow molecules for science class.  We used toothpicks for the bonds between and colored marshmallows for the different atoms.  Put some real science in it and it gets involved quickly.  The bonus is that it stays edible afterward, no glue or anything, so quick cleanup.

kylara70 (author)2009-09-10

My kids LOVED making clay boxes. You can make this last a LONG time. We took about 6 classes to complete the boxes. My kids were younger and could not manage the production of slabs, etc. but with your age-group the kids could handle every facet from production to completion. Air dry clay from Wal-mart has to be worked and rolled out to a manageable thinness. Creating slabs of clay, allow to dry and then "glue" together using clay slip. You can then paint using ANY techniques you want to try, spray paint, acrylics, etc. You can also add texture to the slabs before letting them dry. Add sculpted pieces for decoration. You can google all the details and take images of awesome clay boxes in for them to see and to inspire them.

MegaMaker (author)2009-09-09

We did toothpick bridges and thoose ROCKED. Everyone has $2,000,000 and every toothpick costs $10,000, a piece of paper for designing is $1,000, to use glue for the day costs $1,000, professional advice (art teacher help) costs $10,000, and if you mess with someone else's stuff you pay them $50,000. My group made a bridge that held 36 lb.! We won the whole competetion.

Mander2033 (author)2009-05-09

Older ones teach the younger.... work out something with a nice, flexible teacher from the lower grades -- anything from kindergarten to 6th grade. Older kids can be a peer instructor for math, reading, spelling, science, etc.

Kiteman (author)2009-05-07

Why not ask them what they want to do? Give them some time to browse the site, pick a short-list and then they can vote.

Yes, definitely make a list of possibilities from Instructables. When you take the final vote, why not throw in a little math?

For all nominated projects, ask the student to respond to the statement, "We should do this project." with one of the following:
(1)Strongly disagree, (2)Disagree, (3)Neither agree nor disagree, (4)Agree, (5)Strongly Agree

(Or you could practice with negative numbers by rating them -2,-1,0,+1,+2 instead.)

Total up the score for each project. The one with the highest score wins.