Thursday, January 26, 2012

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Jake's science class has been studying inventions.  The goal for the end of the unit was to walk around your house and come up with some new inventions that would solve a problem.  Jake realized he needed something to remind him to feed the dog her water.  He thought he could invent a machine that just had water in it.

I told him it already existed.

I suggested a problem area in my studio: something my students can rest their heel on if they are too short to play the piano pedal.

He wrote it down, but only to appease me and my 15th request.

Ha!  Persistence pays off!!  I think he had about three other invention ideas down, but after consistent and probably irritating hints, he started to realize my problem actually was solvable.

He and Mike got to work on Wednesday night and tomorrow he will be turning in this:

I had explained to Jake what I needed: something big enough for heels to sit on, but high enough that students could be a little shorter and still play the pedal.  I also wanted it to be adjustable for different sized students and I absolutely didn't want it to move once it was on the floor, but I didn't want it to scratch our floor either.  I also wanted it to look professional.  

After all - my students had been used to only the best in materials from me:

Yes, that old musical dictionary was my heel raiser for years and years. It has probably lost a 1/4 inch in height with pages ripping off each month.  It slid around after every lesson and was especially gratifying to pull out from under the piano with four-foot dust bunnies attached to it.

Jake drew up a plan (per class requirement).  He and Mike visited Lowe's for the supplies.  Jake was excited because he got to use the saw.  HE got to use the saw - not just watch Mike (As he explained: not the flat one with the wheel coming through it, but the one that you pull down...").

It is completely adjustable from about 1/2 inch to 3 inches thanks to industrial Velcro between each layer.  And let me just say - these layers are not sliding around; I could barely pull them apart!

It also isn't moving anywhere on the floor...they made sure of that! works!

Honestly, I'll probably be removing at least one or two layers for most of my students.  But I can!  And no more dust bunnies trailing out from under the piano!

I gave Jake a big hug when he showed it to me tonight.  I'm so excited about this!  I wonder what else I can get him to fix around here!

1 comment:

Sue H said...

Good job, Jake! That looks pretty awesome.