Free technology for teachers: filmstrip and rubber tree

This morning while I was tying my five year old daughter’s hair she was playing with one of the seemingly ten thousand hair bands in our house. Then he asked me what they were made of. I told him they were made of rubber. Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I then had to ask him, “Did you know that rubber comes from trees like maple syrup comes from trees?” He asked how I knew. I told her I learned it in school when I was close to her age.

That whole conversation with my daughter lasted about thirty seconds. It had an effect on the memory of watching a filmstrip with rubber about forty years ago in the classroom of my first grade teacher (Mrs. Anderson). Filmstrip projectors are a part of educational technology that today’s students will never experience. They will never be excited to be chosen as the person who turns the filmstrip on when the record is played. And I know that some of you are reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about. The rest of you may feel a piece of nostalgia thinking about your own filmstrip experience. Either way, if you’re trying to figure out what a filmstrip was, here’s a short video demonstration of how it worked.

If you have a child in your life who is also curious about where rubber comes from, Maddie Moyet has a video for you. Where does rubber come from? Maddie goes to a forest in Thailand to learn how rubber trees are taped and how sap is used to make products like rubber boots.

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