Monday, March 11, 2013

Picking the Projects for Website Part III

   As I had mentioned in an earlier post, YouTube videos have given me some inspiration in the subjects for project articles on my website. Inspiration has come from other places as well or personal interest.  None of the projects are a completly new idea but I always use my ideas to create a project that will be inexpensive and use materials that can easily be found.  This article is really good background into the basics of ideas, where to get materials, and tools needed. Types of ScienceProjects and Resources

Creating projects that can be constructed by the groups I teach to is a major consideration in the design. That is normally I must create kits of parts that require only scissors for cutting and can be assembled quickly. This normally means using hot glue guns for adhesive and the material to cut is either thin foam or cardboard. Other pieces I need to cut and drill before bringing to the classroom.

Several people have complemented me on being able to create projects out of what might appear to be junk or from what can be purchased at the grocery store and hardware store. To reduce cost I also scour dollar stores looking for useable material.  On the mousetrap car construction article I went as far as including pictures of where in a store you might find the required materials.

Mousetrap Car Construction Article

Teaching classes using my projects is a wonderful opportunity to see how kids do with the projects and what needs to be improved.  What I have learned is that it is possible for about anything to be broken. With all the experience I have had with delicate balsa model airplanes I have a more delicate touch by learning the hard way. The mousetrap car has been improved on in several ways since I started teaching that project.  For the last groups that built the mousetrap car the problems were less but sometimes the mousetrap would be broken.

Bill Kuhl

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