Here’s a quick project to cut out on the scroll saw. Scroll saws are small, cheap, versatile tools that can cut through all sorts of thin materials, such as plastics, wood, plywood and cardboard. They have a very, very low … Continue reading Home #Makerspace: Paper Airplane Launcher
On a hot summer day, nothing beats a cool, breezy scientific adventure. The Drain Pipe Regatta is a great investment for a classroom or backyard exploring space, as it helps teach the basics of fluid dynamics, buoyancy, motion and transfer of power. Connections to the great sailing ages in history, from the Polynesians exploring the Pacific, to Columbus’s crossing of the Atlantic, to the great whalers and galleons of Napoleonic Europe abound. This project is the base for a great mix of artistic creativity and scientific inquiry.
Boats can be made with nearly any craft material. I have made origami boat challenges, foam board & skewer boats and water bottle boats. Tweaks can be made with each regatta to reflect learning goals, materials or kids interests. The Cub Scouts of America hold a raingutter regatta every year. Scouts design small sail boats and race them down a 10 foot section of rain gutter.
Pirate-themed get-togethers optional.
Here’s a project that comes with a liability warning: a child can get hurt, very hurt, using this project. The slingshot is a weapon and should be treated as such. This project is only appropriate for outdoor use, closely supervised by an adult. While young children are more than capable of physically using a slingshot, that doesn’t mean they should. You have to judge your child’s readiness. By building this project, you are accepting responsibility for anything that happens.
But when you are ready…
…fire away! (Down range, away from people and property, with appropriate safety gear on.)
Every winter, millions of families prepare for serious bonding time at kitchen tables, in garages and in workshops across the country. We enter with dreams of speed, beauty and glory. With a little luck and skill, we leave with pride, joy and a completed Pinewood Derby Car.
Here’s how to generate that little bit of luck and skill for your family so you too can guide your young maker with confidence.
The Pinewood Derby is a race between small gravity-powered model cars. Each official Scouting kit contains a solid pine block, four nails and four plastic wheels but specialized kits are available online. Official rules vary from organization to organization, and in Scouting, district to district.
This guide will show you how to support and help your young maker design, make and race their derby car.