Fabulous Friday

This week has been a learning one for us, even though the boys are on Spring Break. The 8th graders have a science report due next week and are allowed to work on the project with fellow students. They have spent a couple of days working on a solar system project.

The first part of the project involved the boys to create the solar system back drop. What type of canvas did they wish to use? Poster board, model clay, 3-D art, and the list goes on. My son decided to try something different, he decided to use the PlayStation 3’s Little Big Planet 2 game to make the platform for this project. An interesting twist to the regular presentation of a science report.

Little Big Planet 2 allows the users the ability to create and design their own games and levels. I am unsure about the details of it, but my son was able to manipulate textures and shapes to create his own solar system.

Astronaut Sack Boy

The other two boys came over during the week and they worked on putting the report together while the little Sack Boy would jet pack to each planet. Excuse me, the little Sack Boy Astronaut.

After spending about ten hours in my son’s room, writing, editing, making changes both in the report itself and within the PS3 system, take a break and return to edit and make further changes, they emerged with the presentation being completed. The boys declared the job done. The next step, view the video and edit to create the final presentation. Sounded easy enough, but there’s more to this story.

The following day, my husband and I attempted to transfer the camcorder video to the computer, but failed. The computer system is 2010 but the camcorder is more along the lines of 1990-something. What happens when a driver from the ’90’s meets a Windows 7 computer? Absolutely nothing. Yep. There are no drivers available.

The other boys came over this afternoon and had to recreate the presentation, this time using my camera’s video option. To make matters more insane, the boys did not save the report on the laptop. They wrote it and then did not save it. Can you say “total meltdown”? These young teens were like atoms in a frying pan. Not sure which way to go, yet moving everywhere.

In the end, I had the three of them sit around the kitchen table, playing the video while I was typing out the script for them to read, but this time I saved the report. After setting them up in the room with my camera recording the movements of Astronaut Sack Boy through space, I took the youngest and left the house. When we returned, the boys were ready for the next step. My husband took the memory, mixed it with some windows live video editing program and waalaa — the boys had their finished project each on their own flash drive. Thank you modern world!

Some still shots I took from their presentation…I love technology!

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