Monday, July 20, 2015

College for Kids 2015 New This Year

This year I tried reduce the time that I spent getting ready for the Engineering Through Models Class I have taught the last several summers, in the past I had spent a huge amount of time creating my own kits for the projects. This year I purchased the Quest Water Rocket system which is purchased in two parts, the launcher for around $40 and the rocket set which includes the REQUIRED special adapter that screws on the soda bottle which reduces the outlet hole diameter that thrusts the rocket. The rockets accelerate a little slower and do not go quite as high as using the full opening in the bottle. Without the adapter, the bottle will not fit on the launcher. I wanted a little less performance in the small area we had for launching, the system worked pretty well although I found it necessary to lengthen the foam part of the rocket for needed stability.

Instead of creating my own mousetrap car kits, this year I purchased the Doc Fizzix Basic Mousetrap Car kit which saved a huge amount of time for me. This activity was done later in the week on a rainy day; the students had a little experience constructing other simpler projects before tackling the mousetrap car kit. I was happy to see them reading the instructions and trying to figure out the steps on their own. One student glued his car next to a table that had a 90 degree angle so he could check that the parts were aligned as should be.   Cars travelled well down the long hallway.

On the final day which is a shorter class period to allow time for the graduation ceremony, I demonstrated how the rubber foam plane could fly outdoors when a mechanical winder is used to put in more turns in the rubber motor. The wind was relatively calm that day which made for perfect flying conditions. Everyone was amazed as the little airplane circled higher and higher upwards; somehow it missed all trees and buildings. I repeated this a couple more times but then the students wanted to go back in to work on building foam airplanes of their own design. It was good end to a great week with the students.

Bill Kuhl


Testing New Water Rocket System

Doc Fizzix Website

First Two Days College for Kids 2015

Rubber Powered Foam Model Airplanes on My Website

Fantastic Foam Flyer Construction
Foam Flyer Construction Article- Build the Plane that was a hit this year


  1. You should start a company providing this camp program. Hire students training to become teachers. This would be a great exsperence for them. Every park and recreation program along with community museums should beg you to do this. I think it just needs to be packaged and promoted correctly.

  2. Hobby Quest does that, it might be something I would consider when I retire.

  3. This project is certainly a good one and the concept is also quite clear to understand. The mousetrap car kit is pretty interesting one and I hope kids have enjoyed a lot while doing it. Thanks for sharing all about the project. Kids should assigned to such projects at their schools. In fact, such project should be there at an early school classes. These activities should be included in the After School Care Sugar Hill, GA so that kids can have a better understanding at an early age.