Our MakerClub activities this week will use materials you can find around the house to explore topics in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics). These activities are designed to be hands-on and offline challenges. A new activity will be posted every day at 3pm. Send a picture of your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on our Facebook page and/or this website.
The Egg Drop Challenge
The last challenge of the week is to drop an egg! Find the supplies and the "how-to" from this link to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (they also have a sign-up for "Science at Home"-- check it out). https://www.msichicago.org/science-at-home/hands-on-science/egg-drop-challenge/
If you can't find an egg to use for this (for sure, don't waste one someone could eat!) you could use a plastic egg. Fill it with something heavy so it's more likely to break open when you drop it. (Pennies or small rocks should work.)
Good luck, scientists! Hopefully you can craft an effective protection for your egg. Send us pictures of your efforts and we'll post them.
The Tallest Tower
Your challenge is to build the tallest tower possible without any glue, tape, etc. to fasten the pieces together. You can use blocks or anything you have at home. Bonus points for creative towers! (If you're using something that doesn't belong to you, always ask first. I think drinking glasses are a good example of something that *seems* like it would be good for a tower, but is probably *not* a good idea if your family would like to drink out of unbroken glasses.)
I've included some pictures for you to look at-- which way of stacking blocks do you think is the most stable? What will create the sturdiest tower? As always, share your creations by sending them to email@example.com.
The three blocks at the bottom are more stable than a single block supporting the piece on the top.
Stacking rectangular blocks back and forth can create a stable tower, as long as you are careful to keep the pieces even.
Wind-Powered Recycled Car for Earth Day
In honor of earth day, the challenge is to create a wind-powered car out of recycled materials. You can use really anything you like, but your car should have wheels and axels so that air can drive it forward. (Your "wind" can come from a balloon, your own breath, from a fan, or even the wind outside.)
You will need:
1) Recycled materials (cardboard, plastic bottles, etc.)
2) Plastic bottle caps or cardboard circles for wheels
3) Wooden skewer, marker, or pencil for axel
4) Straw that fits over the axel for building the body of the car on
5) Something to catch the wind (attach a balloon to your car to power it with pressurized air or put a sail on it to capture the air from your breath, etc.)
Be sure to send us pictures of your creations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the video below for some tips and tricks about building axels and sails.
This idea comes from BuggyandBuddy.com
A spectroscope is a viewer that breaks natural (or other kinds of) light into its different wavelengths so that you can see the whole spectrum of visible light. For this project you’ll need an old CD or DVD or a blank CD. Be sure to use one that isn’t useful anymore. Inserting it into the tube for viewing might scratch it!
Follow the instructions on the linked website to make your own spectroscope. If you want to share a picture with us of doing this project, send it to email@example.com
Recycled Marble Runs!
You'll need: 1. something small-ish and round (a marble, large bead, a baked clay ball, an acorn...be creative)
2. Recycling (cardboard, tubes from paper towels or toilet paper, stiff paper, plastic bottles, boxes, etc.)
3. Masking tape (or any tape you have. Masking tape is probably easiest to cut and stickier than scotch tape)
4. Scissors (any stiff cardboard, cut carefully or employ an adult to help you)
Challenge yourself: How tall can you make your run? Can you create a jump? How long can you make your marble run?
Email us your creations at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on our Facebook page and/or this website!
A piece of cardboard folded in half makes one kind of ramp.
Toilet paper tubes or paper towel roll tubes can be cut in half for ramps, or left whole for drops or tunnels.
The edge cut off of a paper plate makes another kind of ramp!