Daily activity 83: Hedy Lamarr

July 15, 2020

This week’s theme:

Mysterious People – Inspirational Women pt.2

Fact of the day:

Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) was a famous Hollywood actress and an inventor.

Resources list:

Dress up items; card, paper, pens; Red, green, yellow objects, a bag, red and green clothes; drinking straw, paper, selotape; scarf; Youtube; Radio website.

Activity 1:

In her youth, Hedy Lamarr disguised herself as a maid to escape her house in Austria. She travelled to Paris and London where she met an important film producer.

Make yourself a disguise (somebody else’s clothes, hats, gloves, moustache, wig, etc) and see if you can sneak between rooms in your house without being detected.

Activity 2:

Hedy then moved to LA to become a huge film star for the movie studio MGM.

Try roaring like the MGM lion!

Walk the red carpet like a movie star in your finest clothes, wave to the paparazzi!

Hedy was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 – make a star for yourself; in the centre of Hedy’s star is a film camera icon to show she was a movie star, what icon will your star show?

Outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood some stars have placed their hands and feet in cement (like Marilyn Monroe here); draw around your hands and feet to place next to your star!

Activity 3:

In between making films Hedy was an inventor and developed a new kind of traffic stop light and a capsule that could make sparkling water!

What actions can you come up with for the 3 traffic light colours – red (stop), amber/yellow (get ready), green (go)? Find items in your house that are red, yellow and green. Put them in a bag and pull one out at random – do the action for that colour. Try the other items in your bag!

What’s the funniest, biggest, softest and hardest objects in your house that you can find that are red, yellow and green?

Or, find a green and red item of clothing. Have a game of musical statues using this music. When the music starts, dance wearing your green item of clothing. When the music freezes, swap into your red item of clothing!

Activity 4:

Another of Hedy’s talents was to do with aeroplanes. The modifications she suggested to designers made aeroplanes more efficient.

Try throwing a drinking straw through the air, like an aeroplane. Measure how far it travelled. Now, try some modifications to your aircraft by adding some paper loops – see here for how. How far does it travel now? Try some further modifications like making the straw shorter, changing the size of the loops, adding or taking away loops – how do these things affect the distance your straw can travel?

Activity 5:

Hedy also pioneered the technology that led to our modern day WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems. She did this by working out how to change the frequency of the radio waves that war ships used, preventing enemies from communicating.

Make some ‘radio’ waves of your own. With a scarf or long piece of fabric such as a sheet, hold onto one end and either have somebody hold the other end, or tie it to the back of a chair. Waft the scarf to create short ‘high frequency’ waves (fast, big, tall ripples of the fabric), and long ‘low frequency’ waves (small, gentle shallow ripples of the fabric).

Listen to radio stations from around the world – On this website you can spin the globe and see loads of dots. Each of these dots represents a different radio station from all over the world. If you centre the circle over a dot you can hear what that station are playing or saying. You can hear voices in all different languages and some weird and wonderful songs and music! Spend some time zipping across the world one radio station at a time. Can you find any stations that are playing songs you like?