"Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual craftpersons into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical 'steampunk' style..." -Wikipedia
While skimming Google Reader feeds, I often stumble across interesting oddities that fall outside my normal range of interest. Boing Boing's occasional posts on Steampunk would fit into this category. Crafted of copper, brass, and polished wood, the fantastic pseud0-Victorian mechanisms featured there are intriguing works of art.
My husband is an artist with a scientific mind. He decided to use his model steam engine as the basis of a steampunk-esque vignette. To see his notes and explanation of "The (patented) T. Cordell Model 'A' Steam-driven Amplitude Modulated Transistor Radio" visit his photo in my Flickr photostream.
Today is an especially appropriate one for discussing inventions, since it is the birth date of Leonardo da Vinci. Though da Vinci pre-dated the Victorian era by 400 years or so, his lively mind and nimble fingers could easily have created steampunk masterpieces.
In a school setting, a steampunk unit might incorporate elements of technology, science, social studies (Victorian society), and literature (Jules Verne, H.G. Wells as well as modern genre authors).
The Steampunk Workshop describes steampunk as "Goth, Punk, Geek, and Maker Culture whipped into a delicious melange with a healthy seasoning of political and environmental activism. It's the intersection of science and romance, it's sustainable rebellion."
To learn more: