This morning Dannie (13) and I picked up an educational solar kit.
You can make 6 different projects.
The kit was pretty fun. Dannie had no problems with the instructions or assembly. The little solderless connections that use a spring are tricky but I think that’s the sort of challenge we’re looking for.
The projects in the kit are:
Solar Revolving Plane
Solar Air Boat
Dannie got the Puppy running. We tried it with a lamp and with real sunlight.
My friend Rob’s kids have formed a band. They are doing some PR at hockey games. They are using a puck platform for their drum kit. The challenge is to make it remote control or automatic or to have it self powered or something. This way the kids would not have to tow it.
Any ideas or suggestions?
I’m thinking of a few things:
-add a third kid who can be in charge of “motion control”
-make it programmable
-make it follow a beacon which is attached to one of the kids on foot.
-make it remote control so a 4th party can control it remotely
I do a lot of volunteer work at community centers and such. I do workshops to teach people how to make simple rubber-power model airplanes. The issue was that the designs that fly well were all complicated to build.
I would prefabricate some of the parts so that the children would not have to carry out the more complicated or dangerous steps.
One day when I was preparing a workshop for a bunch of children at Jack Purcell Community center (I was in a rush because my ballroom partner Susan was picking me up soon), I cut myself.
It was a nasty cut and I should have gone to emergency. I didn’t want to miss my ballroom so I did that instead. The next day I was able to carry out my workshop but it was obviously quite difficult with a huge dressing on one of my fingers.
I decided to re-invent the simple model plane. After a couple of months (or a month) of contemplating, I finally sat down to finish the design. I started with a list of all the current issues (I had a lot of experience with the various models). For each issue I made another list of candidate solutions. I spent about 80h doing prototypes over the holiday season of 2004-2005. It was fun. I made prototypes with friends, at parties and at home.
I eventually settled on the design that is now known everywhere as the Squirrel. It’s a great flyer and is very easy to make.
If you want to make one, here is a video of how easy it is:
If you want to build one, you should try the video series at http://www.rubber-power.com/make-it.htm. The 6m build is to show off and it’s not the best way of building for a beginner.