Why wait for Gangplank Jr. Events to get crazy and have fun with your kids? There are so many neat events to go to, crafts & experiments you can do together at home. Every week, I will write about something dangerous, fun, wacky, or inspiring for you and your kids to try. There will be events around town, fun science experiments to try at home, great things to observe, and just plain fun things to try with your kids every week for you to check out.
Contests are a great way to get your kids involved, inspired and using their natural creativity! Right now there is a contest underway for kids from grades K-6 who live or go to school in Chandler. The task is for the kids to create a poster surrounding the theme, “Chandler Municipal Airport. Your neighbor for more than 60 years.” This is the 2011 Poster Contest for Chandler AirportDayz on April 16 &17. AirportDayz is a weekend of aviation fun with food, music, displays, rides (for a fee), and an airport history exhibit. How much fun would it be to research planes together online, look at pictures, find the science (physics) behind how planes fly. Then they can research the Chandler Municipal Airport and what kind of planes fly in and out of there. Lastly, let your child’s creativity run wild. The Grand Prize is a flight over Chandler in a Piper Archer or a Great Lakes bi-plane!
Here are all the details:
Entries are due no later than 5:00PM on Friday April 8th. Posters should be no larger than 14 x 22 inches. The judging criteria will be based on incorporation of theme, composition, presentation, technique and subject.
The website below gives you the address where you will turn in your poster, and the entry form. The entry form is on the website as well. There is more great information about AirportDayz as well at www.chandleraz.gov/airport.
So, here’s to research, art, and creativity!
Good luck kids and most importantly, have some dangerous fun.
Come join us for the most “dangerous” art session around.
April 17th from 2-4pm at Gangplank we will be hosting a learn to tattoo event for kids 8 and older. Artists Nate “Nasty Nate” Houtz, Adam “A-Bomb” Molina and Johnny “Jevvy Jev” from Tabü Tattoos will be on hand to go over the equipment, keeping things sterile, stenciling and much more.
This is a hands on event. The kids will be tattooing grapefruit, oranges and any other citrus we can get our hands on with REAL tattoo machines, ink and needles. For those that want to take it to the next level several Gangplank Jr supporters have even offered up their skin for actual tattoos from the new apprentices.
You must RSVP for this event as space and machines will be limited. Please leave a comment below if you plan on attending.
On April 2nd from 8am – 5pm at Chandler/Gilbert Community College will be Desert Code Camp 2011.1. This is the third Desert Code Camp that Gangplank Jr will have a track. In fact, this time there will be 2 Gangplank Jr tracks. That’s right with the help of Lynn Langit, Roy Van De Water, Michael Christenson II, and Adam Mokan we will have our biggest showing yet.
There are 3 sessions for Lego Mindstorms, 2 Scratch sessions, an electronics session and several SmallBasic and Kodu Workshops. With this many options any technical minded child should be able to find something to peak their interest. Check out the track details on the Desert Code Camp Site.
Looking forward to seeing you all there for a great day of programming, bot building and collaboration.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Have we got a deal for you. The Subway Fresh Fit 500 is Sunday and we have 2 great tickets up for auction. Nascar is always a great time and these tickets are located right in the turn. Don’t miss the roar of the motors and the rush of cars exchanging paint at over 100 mph. All of the proceeds go to fund the Gangplank Jr Initiative.
Don’t want to miss the auction or lose to the highest bidder? You can Buy It Now for $500.
We would like to thank Jeff Weninger for the ticket donation and being a continuing supporter of Gangplank Jr.
[wpauction id="2" /]
With a great First Lego League season behind us, it is time again to shake off the dust, replace the batteries and start creating amazing Lego Robots. That’s right, Gangplank Jr’s Lego Program is starting back up.
If you are can operate a computer, snap Legos together and like to have fun, come out for our Introduction to Mindstorms event on March 6th from 1:00-3:00pm at Gangplank. We will be covering everything from the the physical sensors to the system used to program the robots. In Gangplank Jr fashion this is a hands on event, meaning you will have built a working robot by the end of the day.
Look forward to seeing all of you, veterans and new comers alike.
The gallery is closed today so unfortunately we will not be able to have the event. It will be rescheduled.
You don’t have to be an expert at the kick flip or 50-50 grind to appreciate the skill and tenacity of skateboarding enthusiasts. Nor do you have to know anything about skateboarding to marvel at unique artwork.
The ‘Full Deck: A Short history of Skate Art‘ exhibit opens up the behind-the-scenes world of skating, with an array of eclectic graffiti and graphics on boards, as well as photography of events.
Gangplank Jr will be making a trip to view the exhibit and learn more about the skating culture on Monday, February 21st at 1:00pm. We will meet up at Gangplank and then head over as a group.
Whenever we here at Gangplank Jr receive feedback, it always seems the most common request is for more fire.
Well, we heard the cry and answered the call with a flameworking class.
Glass artist Laurie Nessel provided a live demonstration on how to shape glass beads using a propane torch. Children were invited to ‘pull stringers’, which involves putting a glass rod in the flame, then pulling the ends apart while rolling the ends. This makes a thinner rod which is then used to decorate the beads.
Children aged 9 and over where then permitted to try their hand at making a bead, which meant heating the end of a glass rod and then attaching it to the ceramic holder to shape.
If you weren’t able to make the event, Laurie also teaches classes through the Mesa Arts Center, as well as private lessons.
The first story workshop in 2010, which resulted in stories of candy and dinosaurs, was such a success that we have planned another for this Saturday, January 22nd at 2:00pm.
Kids will learn basic story mechanics, then collaborate with one another to write a story. This activity is suggested for ages 6+. Materials will be provided at the workshop.
Bring your outrageous ideas and big dreams to share! RSVP on the Facebook page.
Talk about starting the year off right. More than 20 parents attended the Gangplank Jr 2011 Kickoff, providing valuable feedback and ideas that will drive our programming this year.
The meeting began with Gangplank Executive Director Derek Neighbors providing background on the organization, as well as how Gangplank Jr fits into the larger vision of Gangplank as a whole. Gangplank began as a place for adults to break out of the traditional corporate sphere, challenging themselves to learn new skills and collaborate with one another. As that concept grew, it became apparent those ideals needed to start being taught much younger, as the state of education continues to decline. Gangplank Jr offers an opportunity for kids to explore, be creative, and most importantly, fail in world that increasingly bars them from those experiences.
A recap of 2010 events followed, along with a discussion on what types of programs parents would like to see in 2011. Afterward Mike Benner, Gangplank Jr initiative leader for 2011, shared his goals for the year. Both the feedback and goals can be found at the bottom of this post.
The evening closed with a description of volunteer opportunities for parents. As the organization continues to grow, Gangplank Jr will rely on parent involvement to maintain structure and communicate effectively with its members. If you are interested in reading more about current volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer page and fill out an interest form. Please keep in mind we need parents not only for leadership roles, but also to help out with single events. If you have expertise in an area listed within our ideas or goals section below, please contact us.
A huge thanks to all the parents that took time out of their busy schedules to attend. We are blown away by the level of participation we’ve seen right off the bat and are excited to get cracking!
Big thanks to Floridino’s and Jeff Weninger for donating food for the evening.
- Learning to/from Fail
- Basic Mechanics – car, house, “handyman”
- Glass Fusing
- “Take Apart Box”/Break Down Day
- Manga/Comic Create/Go Animate
- Ice Skating/Roller Skating
- Hiking/Rock Climbing
- Adventure Racing
- Tech+Art (ie claymation)
- Creative Writing
- First Aid/Safety
- Bullying/Self Defense
- Orange Picking for the Food Bank
- Local Orphanage Tour
- Financial planning
- Music appreciation
- Full robotics curriculum for FIRST LEGO League
- GP Jr Camp during school break
- Highschool internship/shadowing program with Gangplank anchors
- Tutoring/mentoring program
- At least two Gangplank Jr events per month
- DangerScouts / Monthly Big Events, not weekly little events / Badges
- Diversify activities (Art, design, video, tech)
- Track membership
- Work with GP Health for more kid’s health activities
- Movie and Game Night (family night/open house)
- Work with under privileged groups and orphanages
- Contests (best game, design, art)
Gangplank Jr is growing – expanding programs, taking on volunteers and looking to change education in the Valley. Our goals are big for 2011, even bigger for 2015.
It takes a passionate and courageous individual to step up and volunteer to take on these goals. Fortunate for us, he’s been volunteering and running Gangplank Jr programs for more than a year.
To ensure our vision continues on the right track, Mike Benner has volunteered to head our Gangplank Jr initiatives. Mike has been with the program since the beginning, running events from Scratch Programming, to Castles & Catapults. He designed the younger kids track for our Lego League and is a key influence in starting DangerScouts.
2011 is going to be a banner year for the kids and we’re glad to have Mike on board.