Fish Tank Pump to Water Fountain
Culminating Project By: Megan Miller
When receiving the culminating activity assignment, I instantly started thinking about how I could incorporate all eight multiple intelligences in one appealing way that included movement, sound/rhythm, color/texture, and light to represent all that I had learned to appreciate about water. I was constantly thinking about the project and what I could create but nothing was coming to mind. Then over Thanksgiving break, when I was home, my grandmother had a water fountain rippling and flowing on her kitchen counter. It was so relaxing and beautiful and I knew instantly that’s what I was going to make!
The first thing that I had to figure out was how to make a water pump, because I didn’t want to have to go out and buy anything when I have so many materials at home I could use. After thinking and discussing it over with my dad, I figured out that I could take apart a fish tank filter pump and reconstruct it by switching the flow and adding a tube, which we had in our garage. It took a little bit of time to transform the pump but it was important to get it right because this was the heart of my fountain. After I got the water pump figured out it was time to find the pieces needed to build the fountain. I thought of many different things to use such as stackable kids cups, plastic bowls with lids, and plastic drinking cups. Then came the most difficult and frustrating part of constructing the fountain, finding the proper materials to create a free flowing fountain without overflow or excessive splashing. I immediately decided to scrape the stackable kids cups because it didn’t give me the look I was hoping for, so then I decided to take the bowls, lids, and cups and find a way to stack them to create the fountain.
The first method I tried was putting the biggest bowl on the bottom, then a lid, then a cup, and repeated this process until all cups, lids, and bowls were used. To do this I took a drill and a 3/8ths drill bit and drilled holes into the bottom of the bowls, middle of the lids, and bottoms of the cups. When I tested my fountain, it didn’t work, water was flying everywhere but the place it was supposed to. As a result, I had to rethink my design so this time I took out the lids and had the design be just the bowls and cups from biggest to smallest-this also did not work. My next trial was to flip the bowls upside down so that the water would flow over them instead of overflowing the bowls; this was also a failed design. After three failed attempts, I decided to sit down and really think about the design in-depth from all different angles. I found that the height of the fountain, the amount of water flow, and the small change in sizes of the bowls I was using to be the major issues. As a result, I came up with the final design of the fountain: the largest bowl, the next size bowl flipped upside inside biggest bowl, then the smallest bowl stacked on top, one cup inside the smallest bowl, and holes in the side of the smallest bowl and cup. Once I had the design that I liked and the one that worked the best, it was time to add the finishing touches. I went to the local creek (Muncy Creek) to collect rocks for my fountain. I found all different kinds of rocks with different shapes, colors, and textures. I wanted to do this to give the fountain a realistic feel that also provided visual stimulation. To top it all off, I added some blue Christmas lights, and “plaque” like writings to give it a more realistic fountain look.
Once I finished constructing my fountain, I took a step back and looked at how many different things were incorporated into one project. I incorporated all eight multiple intelligences; verbal/linguistic, musical/rhythmic, visual/spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, bodily kinesthetic, logical/mathematical, and naturalistic as well as movement, sound/rhythm, color/texture, and light to represent all that I had learned to appreciate about water. For the verbal/linguistic intelligence, I have the students reading questions, reading my artist statement, and discussing with peers about water around them. For the musical/rhythmic intelligence, water flowing through the fountain makes all sorts of different noises such as bubbling, rippling, and flowing which all create a beautiful natural rhythm. The whole fountain represents the visual/spatial intelligence-it is a 3D model, a sculpture, and it has multiple different colors and textures. As for the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences, questions that students are asked while listening/watching the fountain ask them to think about how the fountain makes them feel and discuss with a peer where free following water is near them. By doing these things, I have students thinking about how the fountain affects them and makes them feel personally but I also have them sharing with a partner about how it relates to the world around them which strengthens their communication skills. For the bodily/kinesthetic intelligence, I did have to build the fountain from unrelated materials and have the water move and dance from the base to the top of the fountain and back down again in a never-ending cycle. The logical/mathematical intelligence is also represented throughout the whole fountain. I had to use lots of different mathematical and logical skills in order to have the fountain work properly from the pump to the way the water flowed. This is something that would be discussed with students. The naturalistic intelligence is also represented everywhere in the fountain from the water to the water flowing to the rocks and even the idea of a fountain which students could see in a larger scale in their community. Movement and sound is represented in the project through water and the water pump. The color/texture aspect is represented by the rocks throughout all levels of the fountain, some of the rocks are smooth where others are rough/rigid, some are purple, while others are brown or gray. This is something that I believe makes this fountain so beautiful. The lighting aspect is represented through the use of Christmas lights, which shows the beauty of the water as well as naturalistic side of a water fountain. Often times when viewing a fountain in a community it is lit up so it can be viewed at all times of the day.
Overall, a lot of hard work and creative thinking went into the creation of a water fountain. I was able to incorporate all eight multiple intelligences in one appealing way that included movement, sound/rhythm, color/texture, and light to represent all that I had learned to appreciate about water. Who would of thought that an old fish tank filter pump, some hose, old bowls, a cup, lights and rocks could make something so beautiful!
Why Is The Fountain Important To Me?
What Difficulties Did I Face When Creating The Fountain?
How Does The Fountain Work?
The first step in starting the fountain would be to ensure that it has the proper amount of water in it. I found that the fountain works best when you put 2 cups of water into the base and a 1/2 cup into the top bowl.
To get the pump to work, you have to plug it in and ensure that it has enough water so it won't burn up.
Once you plug the pump in, the water pump does the rest. It fills up the top cup (blue one) which overflows into the upright bowl which overflows into the base and back up to the cup again. (If the water flow is too high or too low it can be adjusted on the pump)
Make sure you plug the christmas lights in too-it is the icing on the cake!
How I Designed and Created The Fountain
***The Creative Process***
How Were the 8 Intelligences Used?
I have the students reading questions, reading my artist statement, and discussing with peers about water around them.
Water flowing through the fountain makes all sorts of different noises such as bubbling, rippling, and flowing which all create a beautiful natural rhythm.
The whole fountain represents the visual/spatial intelligence-it is a 3D model, a sculpture, and it has multiple different colors and textures.
I have students discussing with a peer where free following water is near them.This helps them realize the world around them and convey what they know to someone else which also strengthens their communication skills.
I ask students questions about how the fountain makes them feel and what it reminds them of. This helps students relate to the fountain on a more personal level and realize how it affects them.
I build the fountain from scratch and unrelated materials and have the water move and dance from the base to the top of the fountain and back down again in a never-ending cycle.
The logical/mathematical intelligence is also represented throughout the whole fountain. I had to use lots of different mathematical and logical skills in order to have the fountain work properly from the pump to the way the water flowed. This is something that would be discussed with students.
The naturalistic intelligence is also represented everywhere in the fountain from the water to the water flowing to the rocks and even the idea of a fountain which students could see in a larger scale in their community.
How Were The 4 Points of Cohesiveness Addressed?
Movement was represented through the use of the water pump and water flowing throughout the fountain.
2. Sound and Rhythm
Sound and rhythm was represented through the water pump and water. The water pump made a humming noise that has a steady and consistent rhythm. Water also created multiple different sounds/rhythms in the fountain. It gurgled, rippled, flowed, splashed, and bubbled.
Color was represented through the rocks and christmas lights. The rocks were all different colors from purple to gray to brown and multiple colors in between. Some rocks were even multi-colored. The christmas lights brought in a bright blue color that light up the containers, water, and the fountain in general.
2. Sound and Rhythm
Texture was represented by the rocks in the fountain. Their were all sorts of different rocks in the fountain: some were smooth, others were rough, some were sharp, some were smooth on one side rough on another. This is because of where I got the rocks (Muncy Creek) so the water from the creek affects the texture of the rocks-this would be something I would talk about with students.
Light was represented through the use of Christmas lights. The Christmas lights helps to see the movement of the water through the fountain as well as give the fountain a fun and realistic look (something you may see in the community).
The finished product incorporated all four points of cohesiveness!
Things I Learned/Hadn't Thought Of Before Creating The Fountain
- Water flow plays an important role in how a fountain works.
- Design is everything! Sometimes the biggest isn't the best! Know how the water will flow and figure out a design that compliments that flow.
- The texture of the rocks I picked up from the creek where due to water running over them. I never realized how much of a change in a rock's texture water can make!
- Water pumps need a good amount of water to be able to work properly. Without water they will burn up-this is kind of similar to us, if we don't have enough water we won't be able to survive.
- Water makes all sorts of different noises based on its movement, flow, what it is doing, and what it is in/on. For example it gurgles out of the water pump tube, flows out of the holes in the blue cup, and splashes into the container-all these actions have different noises.
- Water is really hard to work with! Half the time it goes wherever you don't want it to go! I never would of thought water would be as difficult to work with as it was.
- Light is a great way to highlight the movement of water. When my fountain didn't have light, I thought it was beautiful and the water flowed great. But when I added the Christmas lights to it, I could see how the water danced all over in the fountain and it became an even more beautiful sight!
- I had not considered how many multiple intelligences water covers! You can pretty much use it to engage any kind of learner.
- I had never realized how much I used water-it's everywhere!
- Water is a beautiful thing that I feel I have taken for granted. I feel that I only appreciate water when it is in nature like a waterfall, I never really appreciate it when I turn on the faucet and water comes pouring out or when I need to take a shower and I always (for the most part) have water. This class/unit/project helped me realize the great importance of water.
Places I Searched For Additional Information
My dad helped me recreate the water pump from the fish tank pump-he has a really good knowledge about how things work so he helped me figure it out, with that being said he made me do it but he was there for guidance if I needed it. He also helped me drill some of the holes in things because it was way to dangerous to have me do on my own-I would of lost a finger or two!
Who would of thought that an old fish tank filter pump, some hose, old bowls, a cup, lights and rocks could make something so beautiful!