Kinetic Contraptions Journal

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Kinetic Contraptions Journal
A mind that is stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
1
2
3
environment l
ook like?
Wha
t
does a
playf
u
l
e
n
v
t
n
ive
i
&
4
Marble Machine by Chris De la Torre
Algis Sodonis’ class / Gateway High School
2001
5
The best way of learning something is to take a leap into the unknown without looking back.
-Yevgeny Yevtushenko
6
Odyssey of the Spheres
by: George Rhoads
www.georgerhoads.com
George Rhoads’ Ball Machine
on display at Explora!
7
I think intelligence cannot develop
without content. Making new
connections depends on knowing
enough about something in the first
place to be able to think of other
things to do, of other questions to
ask, which demand the more complex connections in order to make
sense of it all. The more ideas a
person already has at his disposal,
the more new ideas occur, and the
more he can coordinate to build up
still more complicated schemes.
-Eleanor Duckworth,
“The Having of Wonderful Ideas” and
Other Essays on Teaching and Learning
8
The ancestor of every action is a thought. -R.W. Emerson
9
Underlying this book is the
premise that children and
teachers need to be actively
engaged in the learning
process. As designers of
their learning, dynamic
collaboration between
adult and child produces
thoughtful curriculum.
-Susan Dunn & Rob Larson
Design Technology: Children’s
Engineering
10
In a certain sense every experience should do something to prepare a person for later experiences of a
deeper and more expansive quality. That is the very meaning of growth, continuity, reconstruction of
experience. -John Dewey
11
To understand is to invent. -Jean Piaget
12
mi
e
em
ac
r
b
stakes
13
The "silly question" is the first intimation of some totally new
development. -Alfred North Whitehead
14
www.makezine.com
15
Constructionism is both a theory of
learning and a strategy for education. It
builds on the "constructivist" theories of
Jean Piaget, asserting that knowledge is
not simply transmitted from teacher to
student, but actively constructed by the
mind of the learner. Children don't get
ideas; they make ideas. Moreover,
constructionism suggests that learners
are particularly likely to make new ideas
when they are actively engaged in
making some type of external artifact
(be it a robot, a poem, a sand castle, or
a computer program) which they can
reflect upon and share with others. Thus,
constructionism involves two intertwined
types of construction: the construction of
knowledge in the context of building
personally meaningful artifacts.
- Yasmin B. Kafai and Mitchel Resnick
Introduction, Constructionism in Practice, 1996
16
Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.
-Noam Chomsky
17
Loop-the-loops, roller coasters,
and ski jumps are just a few of the
many different kinds of raceways
in this book build, to play with, and
learn about.
- Bernie Zubrowski
Raceways: Having Fun With Balls and Tracks
18
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know
absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing - that's what
counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
-Richard Feynman
19
Seven-year-old Kondi decides
to fashion a galimoto, a generic
term for push-toys made from
wires and sticks. A good readaloud picture book to inspire
inventors of all ages to utilize
everyday materials in unusual
ways.
- Karen Lynn Williams
Galimoto
20
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
-Plato
21
n
g K
o
l
e
inder
f
i
garten
L
http://llk.media.mit.edu
22
We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from
learning the answer itself. -Lloyd Alexander
23
high
challenges
Anxiety
ow
l
F
l
a
it m
p
O
Boredom
low
skills
high
by: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
24
cricket
”
sic
s
la
“c
et
ir ck
c
Jiminy cricket
PICO cricket
25
The Light-Space Modulator, 1930
by László Maholoy-Nagy
www.moholy-nagy.org
26
The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes,
but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust
27
stuck”
n
u
“
t
e
g
o
t
Ways
drawing
- Make a
ne about
o
e
m
o
s
o
t
lk
a
-T
orking on
what you’re w
something
h
t
i
w
le
d
d
i
f
le
else for a whi
ur journal
o
y
n
i
e
t
ri
w
her
- look at what inot
people are do g
- stop and take a break
from what you’re doing
- reassure yourself that
getting stuck is part of
the process
28
The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than
to provide ready-made knowledge. -Seymour Papert
29
A short film from 1961, in which
Alexander Calder and his wife
present Calder’s Circus, made up
of tiny acrobats and animals.
The circus is housed at the
Whitney Museum in New York.
30
skets in a basketball net
ount ba
C
)
(3
g
talkin
g nig
ht ligh
t
co
10 things you uld do with a cricket:
(5) Create new kinds of drums, rattl
es
,a
ot
nd
ical instruments
her mus
(6)
(7)
M
e a xylophone out of fruit
ak
o
wha
Design a machine that paints while you
sleep
t your in
that dr aws (2) Find out
es while you're
sect pet do
sle
(1) Make a machine
ep
in
t
a
e
r
w
f
ountain
l play movin
ul
l
i
w
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t
a
r
h
o
t
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o
)
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e
ake an animation machin
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gp
g ra m a
ures
ict
(4) Design your own
(8) Tell a story with a puppet theater that lights up when you ap
inspired by: Twenty Things to do with a Computer by Seymour Papert and Cynthia Solomon (1971) ftp://publications.ai.mit.edu/ai-publications/pdf/AIM-248.pdf
31
plaud (9) Build
a
nd
p
r
Designing is not a profession but an attitude.
László Moholy-Nagy
32
Shadow Portrait
by: Walter Kitundu
www.kitundu.com
33
NTS
TANGE
W
O
L
L
FO
34
Goldfish Bowl, 1929
by: Alexander Calder
www.calder.org
New York World's Fair [maquette], 1938
by: Alexander Calder
Sheet metal, wire, wood, string, and paint
35
created
net School
Kinetic Sculpture Box
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alder.
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by: Eva
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36
The Art and Light of Body Movement
by Seth and Noah Riskin
Seth and Noah Riskin, twin gymnasts and light artists,
created performances at the Exploratorium with mirrored
costumes and light sources attached to their bodies.
These performances illuminated the grace and movement of the human body and described the confines of
space.
Studies in Shadow
by Joanna Haigood
Joanna Haigood created an original dance piece that described the
experience of discovery related to light and shadow. The performance
was choreographed using a large grid suspended from the rafters high
above the Exploratorium floor, creating enormous kinetic shadows that
enveloped the walls and ceiling.
37
Creators are hard-driving, focused...independent risk takers... A willingness to toil and to
tolerate frustration and persist in the face of failure is crucial.
-Ellen Winner
38
© Copyright Tim Hunkin
www.RudimentsOfWisdom.com
39
E
T
A
E
CR
T
N
S
C
T
U
R
O
C
40
Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple,
that’s creative. –Charles Mingus
41
Machine with Wishbone
by: Arthur Ganson
www.arthurganson.com
A chicken wishbone seems to be towing the very mechanism that propels it.
42
Questions focus our thinking. -Charles Connolly
43
30 minutes of chain reaction
motion showing cause-andeffect in an old factory
scored by the ambient
sounds of fire lighting,
things dropping and rolling,
melting, and exploding.
by: Peter Fischli, David Weiss
44
From The Invention Book By: Steven Caney
45
Fire Cracker Lighter Machine by Oakley Tapola
The catapult shoots the cat and the cat lands on the flashlight and turns it on .The flashlight's light gose through a magnifying
glass and lights a canon. The canon blows out a canon ball and the canon ball rolls down a ramp. It hits a wheely that starts
to roll .It carrys a frog down and a bucket with a bunny in it up. The bunny get so scared she jumps on the runway and starts
to run. Then the bunny jumps into a tub and the tub Doer floes. The bunny gets sucked trough a hole in the tub and lands on
a trampoline. The trampoline shoots the bunny on a ramp going up.
The bunny bumps into a marble which rolls down a ramp and onto the lever of a gun. The gun shoots out a bullet that sets a
toy rockets fuize on fire, the rocket goes into the sky and explodes . The fire from the rockets explotion goes down onto a log
which causes it to catch on fire. A fan blows the dust into a mouse and he starts to sneeze.The wind from the mouse sneezing
makes a candles flame blow onto a new shirt covered with vasoline .It catches on fire and a dragon standing next to the shirt
sucks up its fire and blows it out on the fire crackers of your choice.
The fire crackers go up in the air, explode and ....Happy forth of july! !
Oakley was a fourth grade student in Karen Thimmesch’s class at the Museum Magnet School
46
The art and science of asking questions is the source of all
knowledge. -Adolf Berle
47
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t
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idd
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..play
48
Self-Operating Napkin
Raising spoon to mouth (A) pulls string (B), thereby jerking ladle (C), which
throws cracker (D) past parrot (E). Parrot jumps after cracker, and perch (F) tilts,
upsetting seeds (G) into pail (H). Extra weight in pail pulls cord (I), which opens
and lights automatic cigar lighter (J), setting off skyrocket (K), which causes
sickle (L) to cut string (M) and allows pendulum with attached napkin (N) to
swing back and forth, thereby wiping off your chin.(N)
by: Rube Goldberg
www.rube-goldberg.com
49
Exploring enables one to divert attention from preconceived paths to pursue some intriguing lead: a fragrance,
a sight or smell, an interesting street or cave, an open meadow encountered suddenly in the woods or a patch
of flowers that leads one off the trail, or even a hole in the ground! Often it is precisely as a result of
aimless exploration that one does become intensely directed and preoccupied. -Frank Oppenheimer
50
Fig. 215
Churn worked by dog-power
51
uff
Sensing strange st a surface
ross
• a bug crawling ac
g
• a raindrop fallin
• ripples in water
ows
• something that gr
g
• someone laughin
• hair being cut
•
•
•
52
Fluency
what does it mean to be fluent with a cricket?
with a hot glue gun?.... with a cable tie?....
or with ideas?....
53
Karla Grosch's Glastanz (1929),
Dirk Scheper, Oskar Schlemmer
Das Triadische Ballett und die Bauhaus Buehne
54
based on terminology developed by John Maeda at the MIT Media Lab
55
Hermann Wagner
Illustriertes Spielbuch für Knaben (1903)
56
Rube Goldberg is renowned
for his zany and splendidly
overcomplicated "inventions".
The inventions appeared in
newspapers every day from
1914 to 1964 as a single
panel of drawings with an
elaborate caption. His name
has made it into dictionaries
as an adjective.
- Maynard Frank Wolfe
Rube Goldberg: Inventions!
57
PIE Chart
m
le
arb
m
in
ach
es
cha
light play
in r
eac
tion
58
59
There is an art to science, and science to art; the two are not enemies,
but different aspects of the whole. - Isaac Asimov
60
The player turns the crank (A) which rotates the gears (B)
causing the lever (C) to move and push the stop sign
against the shoe (D), which tips the bucket holding the metal
ball (E) which rolls down the stairs (F) and into the pipe (G)
which leads it to hit the rod held by the hands (H), causing
the bowling ball (I) to fall from the top of the rod, roll down
the groove (J), fall into and then out of the bottom of the
bathtub (K), landing on the diving board (L). The weight of
the bowling ball catapults the diver (M) through the air and
right into the bucket (N), causing the cage (O) to fall from
the top of the post (P) and trap the unsuspecting mouse.B
61
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious—it is
the source of all true art and science. -Albert Einstein
62
Cabaret Mechanical
Movement contains a lot of
theory but it’s also packed
with practical tips and ideas
for making your own
automata, moving toys or
mechanical sculpture.
- Aidan Lawrence Onn and
Gary Alexander
Cabaret Mechanical Movement:
Mechanisms and How to Make
Automata & Mechanical Sculpture
www.cabaret.co.uk
63
Bricolage is a French Word which
(loosely translated) can be taken
to mean "trial-and-error," learning
by poking around, trying this or
that until you eventually figure it
out. This is one of the best ways
to approach learning on the
computer. If you do something
"wrong," the sky won't fall, you
won't get shot. Just try
again...Soon you will come to
enjoy this process, becoming a
true bricoleur.
Seymour Papert
From The Connected Family website
www.connectedfamily.com
64
A Transaction in the Field of Gravity
by: Bernie Lubell
http://blubell.home.att.net
This is a "Rube Goldberg" clockworks that will turn itself off if you can keep it
going long enough. Made of pine, canvas, music wire, water and candles.
65
Love Machine
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (Billboard #1 single,1976)
Chorus:
I'm just a love machine
And I won't work for nobody but you,
I'm just a love machine,
A huggin', kissin' fiend.
I think it's high time you knew,
Whenever I think of you,
My mind blows a fuse.
When I look in you eyes,
My meter starts to rise, and I become confused.
My voltage regulator cools,
When I'm sitting next to you,
Electricity starts to flow,
And my indicator starts to glow - wooo
Chorus
Na, na na na na, na na na na, woo-woo-wooo
Na, na na na na, na na na na, na naaah
Chorus
I'm gentle as a lamb,
I'm not that hard to program,
There's no way that you can lose,
My chassis fits like a glove,
I've got a button for love,
That you have got-to-use.
If you look into my file,
I am sure you can find out how,
To turn me on just set my dial,
And let me love you for a little while - ooh
Chorus
Na, na na na na, na na na na, woo-woo-wooo
Na, na na na na, na na na na, na naaah
I'm just a love machine,
And I won't work for nobody but you.
I'm just a love machine,
A huggin', kissin' fiend.
66
Hermann Wagner
Illustriertes Spielbuch für Knaben (1903)
Reprint Leipzig, n.d.
67
I think our interaction has been single-pathed. You’re in a forest, you walk carefully along the path, and
you reach the chest of doubloons on the other side and solve the problem. And that is the way we, I too,
teach physics. But the kids that try it get lost at each turning of the path. The trouble is that they think
there is only one safe path, that they have to stick to it as close as they can, and they’re afraid to go off
into the deep woods. I think that the only way to teach path-finding is too make them get lost many times, to
make all the false starts, to try out all the alternatives. Of course, you can’t learn many paths that way,
but you can learn a way of going down a path. Then, if someone gives you another start, you might be able to
find a way for yourself. Hopefully some other time. -Phillip Morrison, American Journal of Physics 1964
68
Kinetic Contraptions - Bibliography
Constructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking, and Learning
in A Digital World
Yasmin Kafai and Mitchel Resnick, eds.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996
ISBN: 0805819843
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
National Research Council Committee on Learning Research and
Educational Practice
National Academies Press 2000
ISBN: 0309070368
Vehicles, Experiments in Synthetic Psychology
Valentino Braitenberg
MIT Press 1984
ISBN: 0262022087
Everything Has A Shadow, Except Ants
Preschools and Infant-toddler Centers Instituzione of the Municipality
of Reggio Emilia 1999
ISBN: 8887960194
Shadow Play, Making Pictures with Light and Lenses
Bernie Zubrowski
William Morrow & Co 1995
ISBN: 0688132111
Vision in Motion
László Maholoy-Nagy
Paul Theobald 1947
ISBN: 0911498001
Design Technology: Children's Engineering
Susan Dunn and Rob Larson
Falmer Press, 1989
ISBN: 1850005907
Constructions for Children
Barbara Eichelberger & Connie Larson
Dale Seymour Publications 1993
ISBN: 0866516271
The Informed Vision: Essays on Learning and Human Nature
David Hawkins
Agathon, 1974
ISBN: 0875861784
In The Spirit Of The Studio:
Learning From The Atelier Of Reggio Emilia
Lella Gandini, Lynn Hill, Louise Caldwell & Charles Schwall
Teachers College Press 2005
ISBN: 080774591
Inventors Workshop
Alan J. McCormack
David S. Lake Publishers 1981
ISBN: 0822497832
507 Mechanical Movements
Henry T. Brown
Astragal Press, 1995(reprint)
ISBN: 0486443604
Children's Ideas in Science
Rosalind Driver
Open University Press 1985
ISBN: 0335150403
Devices of Wonder, From the World of Images on A Screen
Barbara Maria Stafford and Frances Terpak
Getty Publications 2001
ISBN: 0892365900
Picturing Time: The Work of Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904).
Marta Braun
University of Chicago Press, 1995
ISBN: 0226071758
Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas
Seymour Papert
Basic Books, 1993
ISBN: 0465046746
Ingenious Mechanisms for Designers and Inventors, 4 vols.
Franklin D. Jones
Industrial Press, 1977
ISBN: 0831110295
The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, 2 vols.
Jean Paul Richter
Dover Publications, 1970
ISBN: 0486225720
The Arts and the Creation of Mind
Elliot W. Eisner
Yale University Press, 2004
ISBN: 0300105118
The Inventa Book of Mechanisms
Dave Catlin
Valiant Technology
ISBN: 0952365103
Automata and Mechanical Toys
Rodney Peppe
Crowood Press, Ltd. 2003
ISBN: 1861265107
Blinkers and Buzzers, Building and Experimenting with
Electricity and Magnetism
Bernie Zubrowski
William Morrow & Co 1991
ISBN: 0688099661
The Having of Wonderful Ideas and Other Essays
on Teaching and Learning
Eleanor Duckworth
Teachers College Press, 1996
ISBN: 0807735132
Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical
World with Computers
Tom Igoe, Dan O'Sullivan
Course Technology PTR 2004
ISBN: 159200346X
Rube Goldberg Inventions
Maynard Frank Wolfe
Simon & Schuster 2000
ISBN 0684867249
Raceways: Having Fun With Balls and Tracks
Bernie Zubrowski
William Morrow & Co 1985
ISBN: 0688041604
Galimoto
Karen Lynn Williams and Catherine Stock
HarperTrophy 1991
ISBN: 0688109918
Cabaret Mechanical Movement: Mechanisms and How to
Make Automata & Mechanical Sculpture
Aidan Lawrence Onn and Gary Alexander
Cabaret Mechanical Publishing, 1998
ISBN: 0952872900
Light Play: Black-White-Grey (1930, 5 min)
by László Moholy-Nagy
Kinetic Contraptions - Films
[ Available to rent or purchase on 16mm film from MOMA, NYC, thru their film and media
collection, www.moma.org]
In 1930 artist and Bauhaus teacher Moholy-Nagy completed his kinetic sculpture, the Light Space
Modulator. Made of prisms, disks, screens, gratings, mirrors, and shiny balls, the rotating machine
reflected and refracted beams of projected light, altering the viewer’s perceptions of space and
creating a living painting in the gallery. Moholy made this short film as a document of the
Modulator’s operation, and as a study of the sensitivity of moving picture film to the luminescence
of light and shadow.
Sharmanka / Russian for “barrel organ” (2001, 42 min)
by Murray Grigor
[ Available at www.sharmanka.fsnet.co.uk/Shop.htm ]
Founded by sculptor-mechanic Eduard Bersudsky and theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya in
St.Petersburg, Russia, in 1989, and based in Glasgow, Scotland, since 1996, Sharmanka is an
kinetic theater of hundreds of carved figures and pieces of old scrap, which perform to music and
synchronized light.
100 watts, 120 volts (1977, 9 min)
by Carson Davidson
[ This film may be difficult to find. ]
The film follows with lyrical rhythm the automated manufacture of light bulbs, accompanied by
Bach's Third Brandenburg Concerto.
Do-Nothing Machine (1957, edited 1991, 2 min)
by Charles and Ray Eames
[ Available at www.pyramidmedia.com ]
Eames Office footage of the Do-Nothing Machine documents the solar-powered toy commissioned
by Alcoa to showcase a playful and unexpected use of aluminum.
Wire Works (1992, 5 min)
by Michael Rudnick
[ Contact the filmmaker to purchase a copy [email protected] ]
This film documents some of Rudnick’s 3-dimensional wire art works that depict human
fables.
The Secret Life of Machines (1988-1993 Set of 18 episodes )
by Tim Hunkin
[ Available at www.teamvideo.net/secret.htm ]
The Secret Life of Machines is a television series created by Tim Hunkin presented by
himself and Rex Garrod In it they explain the inner workings and history of common
household and office machinery. The series was developed from his comic strips The
Rudiments of Wisdom which Hunkin researched and drew for the Observer newspaper
over a period of 14 years.
Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go, 1986-87, 30 min)
by Peter Fischli and David Weiss
[ Available at www.amazon.com ]
In a series of Rube Goldberg-like chain reactions, household objects such as sugar cubes, styrofoam cups, a tea
kettle, and wooden blocks follow a seemingly haphazard path of successive actions and reactions involving
rolling, melting, dripping, steaming, and toppling to create a series of dramatic tension-filled temporary crises and
resolutions.
Breaking it Up at the Museum (1960, 8 min)
by D.A. Pennebaker
[ Available at www.phfilms.com ]
A record of the Spring 1960 event in which Homage to New York, a kinetic machine built by the artist Jean
Tinguely, destroyed itself in the Sculpture
Garden of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Arthur Ganson’s Machines (1978-2004, 70 min)
by Arthur Ganson
[ Available at www.arthurganson.com ]
This DVD documentation of 36 of Ganson’s kinetic art machines provides good overall views and close ups of his
work. The film includes animation sequences
showing how he bends and solders wire gears, and texts capturing the artist’s thoughts about machines and the
creative process.
Calder’s Circus (1961, 19 min)
by Carlos Vilardebo
[ Available at www.roland-collection.com ]
Alexander Calder's fascination with the circus began in his mid-twenties, when he published illustrations in a New
York journal of Barnum and Bailey's Circus, for which he held a year's pass. It was in Paris in 1927 that he created the miniature circus celebrated in this film - tiny wire performers, ingeniously articulated to walk tightropes,
dance, lift weights, and engage in acrobatics in the ring. Artists would gather in Calder's studio to see the circus in
operation. It was, as critic James Johnson Sweeney noted, ”a laboratory in which some of the most original features of his later work were to be developed.“
An Amusement Park for Birds: Documentation of a Long - Term Project from Reggio Emilia
narrated by George Forman and Lella Gandini (2006, 90 min)
[ Available at www.learningmaterialswork.com/shop/reggio.html ]
A behind the scenes look at a long term project in which children designed and built an outdoor
amusement park for birds in their playground.
How to Make Automata
by Gary Alexander (1994, 42 min)
[ Available at www.automatashop.co.uk ]
Keith Newstead show how he designs and constructs automata, demonstrating a wide range of cams,
gears, levers, and other simple machines along the way.
Evaluation Guidelines Excerpted from
"The African Primary Science Program: an Evaluation and Extended Thoughts"
by Eleanor Duckworth
1) Does she make suggestions about things to do and how to do them?
2) Can she show somebody else what she has done so they can understand her?
3) Does he puzzle over a problem and keep trying to find an answer, even when it is difficult?
4) Does he have his own ideas about what to do, so he does not keep asking you for help?
5 ) Does she give her opinion when she does not agree with something that has been said?
6) Is she willing to change her mind about something, in view of new evidence?
7) Does he compare what he found with what other children have found?
8) Does he make things?
9) Does she have ideas about what to do with new material you present to her?
10) Does she write down/draw some of the things she does, so she does not forget what happened?
11) Does he sometimes know ahead of time what will happen if he does a certain thing?
12) Does he like to think of variations of ways of doing something?
13) Does she ever decide to do something over again, more carefully?
14) Does she feel free to say she doesn't know an answer?
15) Does he cooperate with other children in trying to solve a problem?
16) Does he ever continue this work outside school time?
17) Does she ever bring materials to school, to investigate in the same way?
18) Does she talk about this work at other times of the day?
19) Does he make comparisons between things that at first seem to be very different?
20) Does he start noticing new things?
21) Does she start raising questions about common occurrences?
22) Does she ever repeat one experiment several times, to see if it always turns out the same?
23) Does he ever watch something patiently for a long time?
24) Does he ever say, "That's beautiful?"
I think that you will agree that if a child does even five or six of these things, they are benefiting.