Weather Balloon in the Works

Unfortunately the weather balloon has been put on hold as the end of the year and summer activities have kept us busier than normal. We hope to get back to it before the end of the summer. Also hope to catch up with the blog and post some more of the cool stuff the kids have been working on.

payload rings

payload rings

We just finished cutting out the body of the balloon using foam and nichrome wire.  First the inside was cut out and then the outside, making rings that we will glue together to have an Orion shaped Capsule.

hollowing out the body

hollowing out the body

Balloon Capsule (hollow)

Balloon Capsule (hollow)

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Our latest project is building a weather balloon.  We are still in the early stages of planning and ordering parts but will add more information as progress is made.

Lots of Pots

It has been a blast to watch the kids throw pots on the pottery wheel.  The best part is the watching the progress.  The failures and flops have taught them that not everything comes easily and some things require patience and practice, and it’s ok to mess up!  They have made so much progress and are truly proud of the pots and other creations that have made it through the process.  We are still taking pictures of everything and plan to update the website as we can with the many wonderful creations.  IMG_2664 IMG_2615
IMG_6629     IMG_6639  IMG_6634

Pallet Bike Rack

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Inspired by the clutter of bikes in our garage, our (at the time) 12 year old made this durable bike rack out of a recycled pallet and some scraps.  Cut and sanded, with a simple stand that holds it upright, it has been truly appreciated and holds 6 bikes.   It’s hard to believe we allowed the bikes to be stored any other way.

Coloring Marker Bot

We finally made a simple Coloring Marker Bot with our youngest, and it was all joy!  We originally saw this idea at the NoCo Mini Maker Faire and had to try it at home.

Materials: Plastic cup, duct tape, some markers, a motor, 1 AA battery, some wires to connect the motor and battery, and a hot glue stick.

Marker BotHow to make a Coloring Marker Bot:

1. Connect wires to your motor (ours was an up cycled motor that already had wires attached).

2. Cut about 1/3 of a hot glue stick and push it firmly onto the motor shaft, so it is off center–this is what causes the vibration that moves the bot.

3. Tape your motor to the bottom of the cup (top of Marker Bot), using duct tape.

4. Arrange and tape desired markers around the outside of the cup making sure not to interfere with hot glue stick as the motor turns. Also be sure the marker tips are evenly aligned so all colors actually mark the paper as the bot moves.

5. Tape the battery to the cup anywhere it won’t interfere with the motor, but so it can be connected properly.

6. Tape one wire from the motor to one end of the battery.  If you connect both it will start running, so be sure you are ready for that.

7. Connect the second wire to the battery once you are ready to see the bot in action.  Make sure your fingers are not near the motor.  We used duct tape but made it so the connection could easily be removed to stop the bot.

8. Put your bot on some paper and watch it go!  We used an old drawer from our pantry to help contain the bot from going off the paper.

9. Experiment with taping different things to weight the bot in certain ways and observe its movement.  Can you get it to go straight or in circles?

10. Have fun!

 

 

Snow Sculptures

A family of snow creatures created by our girls.  They include a deer (antlers and all), an owl with green eyes and a turtle with pinecone legs.  There is also a dog that is not pictured, but was quite cute.  All you need is some packing snow, sticks, rocks, leaves, pinecones, and a little imagination!  A perfect activity for a sun filled snowy day…IMG_0622IMG_0623IMG_0625turtle

We’re going to the NoCo Mini Maker Faire!

On October 5th we will be heading to the NoCo Mini Maker Faire.  Our ideas and projects are coming together.  We will have a small 10×10 booth with a few things to do and see.

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As part of the Cardboard Challenge going on at the faire, we will be bringing our own cardboard inspired game… Ours is a cardboard tower with different stuffed animals placed throughout.  The object of the game will be to take the giant slingshot we are building to launch a bird (hopefully not an angry bird) to knock down the tower.  We will be setting up in the next few days to test it out and see how it works!

LoopPlanePaperHelicopterExperiment

We will also have paper for making paper helicoptersloop planes and any other things kids can think of that will fly or fall.

More ideas will be added…we just hope there will be enough room!