The History of Bronze – DJD


Image from: Weapon Universe


Bronze is a very common metal which is used industrially and to make art. The Sumerians first discovered bronze in 3500BC. That led into the less common Bonze Age.  Bronze was used to make light, sharp swords and chariots. The Summarians mixed copper with arsenic to make items. Arsenic is brittle and was not effective in warfare.


Image from: CoinTalk

Bronze is not a natural element. In fact, in modern times, it is often a mixture of copper and tin. (No, they did not melt the tin man.) This combination of metals is called an alloy. When bronze is exposed to air, it will oxidize and leave a green, red, or brown tint to your bronze depending on the alloy. For some people this is desirable.  However, if you start to see green power-like spots, this is undesirable and is known as bronze disease.

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Protype – DJD

gluegunA prototype is a model of a product that is used for a presentation to the design team or client.  There are two types of prototypes.  Firstly, there is a technical prototype. This type is when you want to present the technical side of the product.  Secondly, is the design or aspect prototype. This, as you can probably guess, is where you show what a product will look like in its final stage at your home or restaurant.

Prototypes are very helpful, and they will assist you. They also help you learn from your mistakes. They also give the client a good example of what they envisioned. If you don’t have a prototype things could go wrong. It helps you confirm the how your piece fits together and that your design is as good in the real world as it was on paper.

I hope in your next project you create at least one prototype.

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Copper Coolness DJD


Can you believe that copper and gold are the oldest metals?  Cyprum is Latin word for copper.  Copper can be found in northern Iraq and many other places in the world, but is very commonly mined in Australia.   You my think that copper would not help plants grow, but news-flash it does.  Coppers atomic number is 29 and the atomic weight is 63.546, atomic mass unit.  Copper can be hammered into a big sheet and from there a creative sculpture.  The Egyptians used copper to make objects to worship their gods.  If you want to buy copper, you can get it online at a shop like Copper Smith. I think the best copper is found in an antique shop.  Copper is my favorite metal, and I hope now it is yours to.                                                                                                                  

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A brief history of the light bulb DJD


What changed?

How did they fix issues?

These are questions that people ask about lightbulbs all the time when talking about the history of these amazing sources of the human’s best tool, the light.  The first light bulb was made in 1923 when a chemist and engineer used carbonized bamboo filaments and somehow found a way to make power or light.  In 1962, Georges Claud a glass blower by trade made the neon light. You most commonly see on it on the Las Vegas strip!  After all of those guys made history, Nick Holonyak made even bigger history when he invented the LED bulb.  Then the Energy Dept. put LEDs together which  made a bigger and brighter glow.  In 2011, Philips made a 49$ bulb that could last for 27 years.  Thanks to all those brilliant people who made the most helpful invention ever.

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Igniting a gas light – DJD


Urban Electric gas light.

Step one — open the hinge by pulling down or up

Step two — turn the nob on the flame stem half a turn counter clock wise

Step three — light the paper-like ball on top of the flame stem

Step four — close the door and you have lighted a gas lantern

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How to Install a Light Fixture – DJD


Image from:

Step 1.  Find the right tools: wire cutter, screwdriver, needle nose pliers.

Step 2.  Make sure the power at the light switch is off.

Step 3.  Additionally use power tester: 1. Put black tip into black probe 2. Red into red probe 3. If tester light blinks there is still power on.

Step 4.  Pull the wire outward a little through the junction box in the wall.

Step 5. Take wire nut off of the wire that comes out of the wall (if necessary) and connect the black new wire to old black wire.

Step 6. Take wire nut off of the wire that comes out of the wall (if necessary) and connect the white new wire to old white wire.

Step 6. Check to see that you have tightened the nuts  as securely as possible.

Step 7. Finally, screw the “ground wire” (the wire that is not color covered) to the screw in the mounting bracket.


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Inspiration to Innovation

DJD has begun his fourth grade innovation project.  He is designing light fixtures.  He began to codify his design language.

Color: The way light reflect off objects and is perceived by the human eye.

Warm Bronze and Textured Nickel

Shapes: Two or three-dimensional areas with a boundary. Shapes encourage us to have specific moods or emotions and emphasize specific areas of interest.

Equilateral triangle-based pyramids

Reflective: The ability for object to be projected back from a different angle.

Opaque: The ability of a medium to allow light to appear indirectly and less intensely.

Textured and Tinted

Tessellation: Tiling of a surface using one or more geometric shapes with no overlap and no gaps.

Mathematical, Interlocking, Patterns of patterns,
Dramatic, Historic, Repeatable, New yet familiar, Randomness

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What is design – DJD

“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master”  To my point of view this means a designer’s job is to bring happiness and satisfaction into the world by understanding what people love and manipulating how people think of the world through products to make their life better.

For example:



    1. Pleasing to the eye
    2. Does its job  (right amount of space; gives off the proper light)
    3. I has a new/unseen before appearance


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God With No Hands Projects – Revisited

Chart 1 showing the size relationship between the Earth and the Sun.

One of the ways children show me how they are processing the impressionistic lesson of the formation of the Universe is by how they are interpreting the posters in our room which are used during the presentation.

First, the most immature child processes this wonderful impressionistic story very literally.  I find this is often a young first year child.  This vision is not wrong for where the child is developmentally.  I know the child will see it from a different facet as he is older.

The second and third year child (and often the first year upper child) is wanting to show what he believes really happened at that moment on the Earth. His drawings are more “photo realistic.”

Volcanos spewing smoke. The sun hides herself behind a veil of ashy clouds.

For the older Upper Elementary child,  the interpretation is often back to the impression of the work.  He understands the work and many of the concepts literally and is now ready to put his individual stamp on Dr. Montessori’s work.

AV and JV had become interested in creating their own God With No Hands cards.

Well not cards in the case of AV.  AV wants to quilt the felt to make a soft poster.

JV has been focused on a minimalist approach. JV is using cut paper. Elegant.

I find the child’s vision is very helpful for discussions of other Montessori lessons.  It provides a window into the child’s thoughts, understandings, and tendencies.

I have observed some Montessori classes shading photo copies of the charts as line art sheets and making a book.  I would find this difficult for me as a directress, because the meeting of the child with the story is personal and provides such a window into her soul.  I wouldn’t want to miss those clues.

Our actual lesson and my charts are here.  The core text is here.


Filed under Art, AV, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, JV, Montessori


BW working out the laws of division. “Mhhhhh. I wonder if there is a way that you can know if this really giant number is divisible by four without having to divide it alllll the way out?”

Just a reminder to myself:  

The process defines who we are.  It isn’t the product that defines.  It is the journey that guides us and allows us to guide others.  It is the way we approach the difficult, the impossible, the unknown that determines who we are in the end and what we understand once we have reached the product.

How we approach the weak, the needy, the hopeless shows the depth of the understanding of ourselves and our own poverty of soul.  It is not the giving of charity as a product but rather the recognition of the deepest needs in ourselves and overcoming those needs to aid another person in their pilgrimage through this mortal plane. When it is in “pardoning that we are pardoned” then we are aware of the importance of the work.  This is process.

How we sit with the suffering in silence; how we laugh when laughing is easy; how we find hope in the time when laughter is impossible;  these are process.  This is what matters.

What my hand, mind, mouth, soul makes is not as important as the process by which it is envisioned, spoken, pursued, constructed, and loved.


Filed under BW, Educational Philosophy, Mathematics, Montessori, Moral Compas, Operations, Practical Life - Elementary, Students