build a boat

Everything in the built world has a story as well as a lot of ideas, thinking, experiences and background knowledge. Take for example, the Optimist sailboat. The design is simple enough that many people and groups have build them so kids everywhere can learn to sail in a small rugged boat and compete internationally. These are the instructions for building an Opti complete with pictures and links to resources. Going through the instructions points out a number of engineering concepts and terminology as well as tools and skills. Computer-aided design – Wikipedia Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computers … Continue reading build a boat

balloon-powered boat

Don’t throw out that empty milk carton! Use it to make a toy boat that can move throught the water with your own homemade turbo engine. Air seeping out of a balloon can power a boat through water. Make this boat and watch it zoom. To make a balloon-powered boat you need: a balloon an empty milk carton a paperclip scissors Directions: Cut off one side of the milk carton to make your boat. Poke a hole at the stern of the boat, fairly close to the waterline. Put the balloon in the carton and push the nipple through the … Continue reading balloon-powered boat

capture wind power

To make a windmill you need: a 15 cm by 15 cm square piece of thin cardboard scissors a large fat plastic straw two straightened paperclips a nail Directions: Fold your thin piece of cardboard diagonally and then diagonally again. Cut down each fold towards the center, stopping about 2 cm from the center. Poke a hole in the center of the cardboard with the nail. Poke holes in the top right corner of each cut triangle as you turn the square in your hand. Each triangle should have just one hole. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. The … Continue reading capture wind power

create a sundial

Often people look up in the sky to guess what time it is by the position of the sun. Your sundial will be accurate on the day you make it. For the next few months it will be fairly correct. After that – don’t count on it at all or you’ll certainly be late! To make a sundial you need: an aluminum pie plate or a cut out circle of cardboard a plastic straw masking tape a marker a clock or watch a sunny day Directions: Stand the straw straight up in the center of the pie late or cardboard … Continue reading create a sundial

make a huge soap bubble

Soap bubbles are easy to make and don’t need a special kit. All you need to make a regular sized soap bubble is some liquid dish detergent and some wire that you’ve bent into a hoop. Dip it into the soap and blow. Simple! Hugh soap bubbles are made on the same principle. Follow the directions below and astound your friends. Make huge soap bubbles outside. You might want to do this in your bathing suit. To make a hugh soap bubble you need: 3/4 cup dish soap 1 teaspoon cooking oil 1 bucket of warm water 1 1/2 meter … Continue reading make a huge soap bubble

make an unscented bubble bath

There’s quite a movement afoot to purify our air by asking people to be scent free. So many people are sensitive to smells, and yet the products on the market are often irritating because of their perfumes. You too can have a soft foamy bath that doesn’t stink like perfume. To make an unscented bubble bath you need: washing soda crystals (in the detergent section of the store) a rolling pin a medium-sized jar with lid water Directions: Use the rolling pin to crush the crystals into a powder. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use the jar! Put … Continue reading make an unscented bubble bath

make a ball catcher

It’s fun to try and catch a foil ball in a paper cup when it is attached to the cup with string. You can have a competition with yourself to see how many tries it takes to catch the ball. This toy is easy to make and will occupy you and your friends for hours. To make a ball catcher you need: a paper cup a fairly long piece of string a nail glue aluminum foil Directions: Poke a hole in the bottom of the cup with the nail. Tie a large knot at the end of the string. Thread … Continue reading make a ball catcher

make a garbage table

Could you use a table in your room? Why don’t you make one out of garbage? Almost every family uses cans of juice, soup or sodas. Think of the type of can most often used in your house and start collecting them to make the legs for a table. Why not canvas your neighbors for some to speed the process up. The larger the cans, the fewer you’ll need. Apple juice cans make great table legs. To make a table you’ll need: some empty cans duct tape a side of a large sturdy cardboard box a piece of cloth larger … Continue reading make a garbage table

summer activities

SWENext Newsletter – K-8 SWENext – Society of Women Engineers It’s Summertime! Hey, SWENexters! Happy summer! Even the SWENext Newsletter takes the summer off, so this is our last newsletter issue of the school year. Since we won’t be back until September, we’ve included lots of ideas for what you can do this summer. Enjoy your summer, be safe and keep engineering! Here are three STEM activities you can try at home. Think like a Civil Engineer and make a tower you can eat! Snack Time Edible Structure Instructions Think like a Mechanical Engineer and make a roller coaster for … Continue reading summer activities

make a mobile

You can dangle anything you want from string to make a mobile – thread spools, keys, buttons, cut out shapes, shells or even bits of wood. The objects will spin lazily in the air and appear as if they are floating. The trick in making a mobile is to make sure the objects are balanced. To make a mobile you need: a coat hanger one long and two short sticks thread scissors 5 small objects to dangle Directions: Tie a piece of thread in the middle of the long stick and tie it to the middle of the coat hanger … Continue reading make a mobile