Friday, March 6, 2015

Making MacGyver Proud

What a busy day! Every year our office hosts an event for middle school students. Teams of four competed in various problem solving activities. We hire someone who provides all the construction type activities.  The projects are to build something using unusual and limited materials - like manila file folders and string. There is a definite MacGyver vibe. I love seeing how the different ways the students complete the projects.

I wish I could show you some of the better pictures I took today, but of course, I can't post pictures of students on my personal blog.

Cups of mini marshmallows await their turn to be shot out of PVC pipe/balloon canons. Students had to catch as many marshmallows as possible using a device made of two paper bags and a length of tape. Yes, you could just use the bags as is, but most groups altered the bags to make a larger opening.
This student is blindfolded and being lead through a relay race carrying lengths of pool noodles. Points are given for speed and the number of noodles you can successfully carry. Another leg of the relay involved a cart the student had to sit on and self-propel while holding the noodles.
Students asked to build a free standing tower from 6 drinking straws and a handful of dry spaghetti noodles. The tallest one was 45 inches.
 I prepare what we call the paper/pencil activities. These mainly consist of brain teaser type questions. A few samples from today.... Let me know in the comments if you want the solutions and I will include them in a future post.

This questions stumped almost everyone. Only a few teams got  any one got all five. You choose one four letter word from each column, combine the letters, unscramble them to reveal the name of an animal.

 This was also a tough one...
And because every event has to have some sort of failure on the organizer's part.  This is my epic fail. The goal is to unscramble the letters to reveal a state capital. Does anyone see something wrong with #12.  Desiree, I am looking at you!  Yes, I know how to spell it, I just wrote the wrong letter :( A little embarrassing!
The event is a ton of work, but watching the kids enjoy the competition does make it worth the effort. We hold the event at local university. I saw this sign on the way in advertising food in the student center. I think I prefer my fish tacos a "little less fresh." On the way out I noticed the other side of the sign was adverting Ice Cream Nachos...what? Run for you life, Anna. I might be Googling a recipe for those when I need a treat :)

Sadly, I was too busy to celebrate any of the following March 6 holidays today...

Dentist Day - actually, I it does make me a little sad. My dentist committed suicide about a year and a half tragic. He was the best dentist I've ever gone to and I have yet to find a new one.

National Frozen Foods Day - if it were a regular work day I might have celebrated with a Lean Cuisine for lunch. I don't like to eat them too often, but I try to keep a few in the freezer at work. If I forget to bring lunch I have a fall back so I don't have to eat out....saves calories and money :)

Employee Appreciation Day - I don't have any employees to appreciate, but I did get some nice compliments from the director about our event today, so I guess I got appreciated.

National Salesperson Day -  I know they are just doing their jobs, but I am thankful for not having any of them call me today.

I am officially exhausted!!!  I ran around like a maniac all day today making sure everything ran as smoothly as possible.  I am a little concerned this post might reflect the exhaustion. So I will wrap up with two sure signs of spring....

My seedlings are sprouting like crazy. Hopefully, I can nurture them successfully until the danger of frost has passed and they can be transplanted into the currently snow covered garden. There is something so optimistic about seeds sprouting.  
And nothing says spring is coming like the cruel melting of chocolate bunnies in the afternoon sun. I actually stood there and watched their little faces fall off. When I could finally tear myself away from the horror I did alert the staff of the situation.

After weeks of super cold weather and snow, this weekend we are expecting temperatures in the 50s. Heat wave!  I promise my next post will include how I got out and got moving!


  1. So, hilarious on the bunnies. My husband always tells this story about how his grandfather accidentally cranked the heat in their house one day and the face of his chocolate bunny from his Easter basket melted. I showed him your picture and he was like, "It was just like that!!!!" We were cracking up! And I am a big dummy, those brain teasers make my eyes cross. I did crack up at the Baton Rouge thing, though it took me a second to figure out what it was!

    1. I am still slightly traumatized by the bunnies...hollow bunnies should be illegal :)

  2. LOL Anna, you were just "testing" them :P Or trying a fancy more French pronunciation!

    1. Yeah, I can't believe I did that....didn't take long for one of those 12 year olds to point it out to me!