Flameworking

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 IMG 0113 e1295321439516 280x300 FlameworkingLaurie 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.

Story Writing Workshop #2

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.

2011 Gangplank Jr. Kickoff Recap

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.

photo 7 1024x764 2011 Gangplank Jr. Kickoff Recap

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.

photo 6 1024x764 2011 Gangplank Jr. Kickoff Recap

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.

Programming Ideas

  • Learning to/from Fail
  • Cooking
  • Basic Mechanics – car, house, “handyman”
  • Audio/Podcasting
  • Xtranormal
  • Glass Fusing
  • “Take Apart Box”/Break Down Day
  • Manga/Comic Create/Go Animate
  • Ice Skating/Roller Skating
  • Hiking/Rock Climbing
  • Running
  • Falconry/Reptiles
  • Interobang.com
  • Adventure Racing
  • Tech+Art (ie claymation)
  • Creative Writing
  • Volunteering/Charity
  • Photography/Videography
  • First Aid/Safety
  • CPR
  • Bullying/Self Defense
  • Orange Picking for the Food Bank
  • Local Orphanage Tour
  • Music+tech
  • Financial planning
  • Music appreciation
  • Theater

2011 Goals

  • 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)

Weekly Roundup – November 28- December 5

This week at Gangplank Junior:

Tuesday, November 30th

Saturday, December 4th

  • (9:00am-4:00pm) FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifying Tournament. Open to the Public. Located at Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA. Come cheer on the Master Builders and Mechanic Masters!

Sunday, December 5th

Turn up the heat – Science style!

Science has never been so…messy. Sure, the science fair at school may have you build a volcano to show chemical reactions, but it has to LOOK like a volcano. At our ‘Turn up the heat – science style!’, participants were given markers and food coloring to design the volcano of their dreams, as well as display how vinegar and baking soda interact with each other. We also added dishing washing soap to create a more viscous, slow-moving lava flow.

Check out the video of the kid’s volcanoes erupting and join us for our next Gangplank Junior event on December 5th, 2010.

Weekly Roundup – November 15-21

This week at Gangplank Junior:

Tuesday, November 16th

Saturday, November 20th

  • (Noon-8:00pm) Chandler Block Party – Downtown Chandler will be closing off Arizona Ave between Chandler and Frye for a huge party, with an ice skating rink, food vendors, games and more. Admission is free! Gangplank will feature a Kinect console from Microsoft, as well as a lock picking station. For the parents, a silent auction on beautiful pictures of Downtown Chandler. [Volunteer]

Sunday, November 21st

  • (2:00-4:00pm) ‘Turn up the heat: Science Style!’ – Dissecting frogs gross you out? Get your kids involved in something more dangerous! At the Turn up the Heat: Science Style! event kids will enjoy making real working volcanoes and match-stick rockets.[RSVP here]

Weekly Roundup – November 10-14

This week at Gangplank Junior:

Saturday, November 13th

  • (2:00-3:00pm) Gangplank Junior Book Club - November’s book title is ‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer. We are adding a little twist for this month’s meeting. The club discussed fan fiction in our last meeting. As a result, the group has decided that in addition to reading the book, participants are required to brainstorm two unique ways in which the story of ‘Twilight’ could be changed. Readers are welcome to re-write characters, endings and add in their own flavor.

Sunday, November 14th

  • (10:00am-Noon) DangerScouts ‘Microwave Madness’ [RSVP here]
  • (2:00-3:30pm) Story Writing Workshop – Encourage your child to find their inner creativity and advance themselves in the art of storytelling with a Story Writing workshop at Gangplank. Kids will be taught basics of story structure and then be able to collaborate on story ideas with your friends! [RSVP here]