Monday, June 24, 2013

Practical Learning

I am a volunteer math and science tutor at Avery Parsons Elementary (APE) School. I am called an enrichment tutor because I work specifically with advanced students. I have argued for years that schools spend more time, focus, money, and energy on bringing lagging students up to speed then they invest in kids that are advanced. Most of these students are bored as they go through school. This is the problem with education today and why it is failing so many kids. Schools are focused solely on kids passing a minimum set of requirements. They do nothing to try to maximize the learning experience for students capable of achieving more. This is wrong and why the United States has to import our doctors, engineers, and other technical workers from foreign nations.

The APE Night Light Project is being done by second grade students at Avery Parson’s Elementary school in Buena Vista Colorado. The product is a flash light which can also be used as a bike light or fastens to anything with its 18 inch Velcro strap. It is made using bright white LED lights and circuits purchased from Evan Designs (website below – this is great small business). The circuitry is cased in discarded roll-on deodorant canisters. The lights run on 9V batteries.

Some argue that second grade is a little too young for these types of projects. However, in my experience, the biggest problem with teaching youngsters math is that they see no meaning or purpose for it. That is because 9+8=17 or 25x9=225 means absolutely nothing! Numbers without any units or explanation mean nothing. The sooner kids can see the purpose behind math and science, the sooner they will become interested in learning these concepts.

The purpose of the APE Night Light Project is to have a practical educational experience where students learn math, science, creative writing, and solve real world problems. The goal is for students to see the practical aspects for learning (in particular math and science) as it is applied in the real world. The project fosters creativity and business acumen as students learn how to create a business, market products, and understand the financial implications on product pricing and profits.

Please contact me if you would like to donate (recycle) your used deodorant canisters for this project at The deodorant caps (lids) must be transparent and we prefer clear covers not colored ones (i.e. Secret Deodorant has clear caps or covers). Hopefully, one of these years we can put together a fund raiser and sell the product. Thank you for your help.

LED Company – Evan Design

Avery Parson’s Elementary School

Mrs. Propernick’s Second Grade Class

This information can also be found on my website at:

Product Features

Light Weight and Compact

Water Proof


Recycles plastic deodorant canisters

Low Power and energy efficient – Single LED Flashlight runs up to 40 hours and Triple LED Flashlight runs up to 30 hours

Product Usages

Flash Light

Bike Light

Reading Light

Wrist Lamp

Product Types

Single LED APE Night Light

Super Bright Triple LED APE Night Light

Single LED APE Night Light with Velcro Strap

Super Bright Triple LED APE Night Light with Velcro Strap


  1. Sounds like a cool project, Patrick! I'll look around and see if we have any deoderant canisters to send you.