My daughter's Destination ImagiNation team (see http://idodi.org
for basics) is doing a "stage" presentation of a 4 minute movie trailer, and one of the requirements is a "Cinematic Special Effect". They are not allowed to use: flash powder, flash paper, talc/baby powder, cap guns, dry ice, or anything that could burn (hot or cold) or is hard to clean out of carpet. We parents are allowed to teach them how to do something (or find teachers), but can't do ANY of the actual work for the presentation. (This includes sets, costumes, makeup, hair, setup, cleanup, etc. The only thing we CAN do is heavy lifting, and only at the request/direction of a team member.)
Tomorrow they are meeting with a the technical director for an actual stage production, to talk about stage tech. They might be getting a short class in stage magic from a local magic shop at some point in the near future, as well. This will cover many areas in their knowledge gaps, but we want to be sure that they have plenty of options when it comes time to decide their "Special Effect."
To that end, I suggested that they might want to make something flashy-blinky, a device that's easy to construct, yet showy enough that it draws the attention of the audience (and appraisers). (In other words, gets them the most points.) My example (in way of explaining it to the kids) was the Flux Capacitor, or a raygun-type thing, or a blinky-flashy time machine device. (They got the idea, anyway.)
Unfortunately, my soldering skills are somewhat rusty, and I don't feel confident enough to teach them. Is there anyone in i3Detroit that is willing to teach a soldering basics class to a small group of 4th graders? Or, know of someone who can (and will)?