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2013 05 01 15.25.19

invention

Dream Flowers

by Trish and Baila

Published on April 23, 2014

What started out as an idea to extend my preschool students' study of Wassily Kandinsky's "Concentric Circles and Squares", evolved into a fantasy of dancing flowers! Using 1/2" strips of colorful cardstock paper, I created fanciful flowers using a modified quilling technique. Each flower is suspended from the circular frame and is attached to a central point revolving above. As the arm slowly revolves inside the frame, each flower gently rises and falls, creating a dreamlike dance. The entire display is meant to hang in our preschool classroom to ignite wonder! As a child steps near the display, the motion sensor activates and the flowers begin to dance! (For the video, we bypassed the motion sensor.) Enjoy the fusion of art, wonder, and littleBits!!

Credits: My husband Ben, video and physics adviser! My preschool students - what a great audience!

How To Make It

STEP 1

Create paper flowers. I used 1/2" strips of colorful cardstock, cut with a paper cutter. Flowers were formed by gluing the strips into circles and then manipulating them into various shapes.

STEP 2

Prepare frame. I used an old wooden hoop we had around the house and spray painted it pink. I attached eye hooks on the inside of the frame to support the flowers. I used four eye hooks on the outside of the frame to support the frame from the ceiling.

STEP 3

Prepare motor assembly and arm. I used two pulleys, 1 large and 1 small, and attached them to a piece of wood painted the same color as the frame. A large rubber band connected the two pulleys. The small pulley was friction fit onto the littleBits dc motor. The "arm" was attached to the large pulley.

STEP 4

Attach the motor assembly to the frame. We raised the motor assembly bar 2 inches above the frame with wooden blocks, and screwed the entire thing into the frame.

STEP 5

Attach flowers to the frame. I pierced the top of each flower with a needle, and thread fishing line through the flower and up through the eye hooks. Each flower was then connected to a swivel mounted a few inches from the center of the "arm".

STEP 6

Enjoy!

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