Hands On Projects And Simple Tools
We are starting a new section here, indexing resources available to allow you to create or inexpensively buy your own classroom tools.
This book by Nic Penny offers a wealth of ideas for making satisfying musical instruments from everyday and junk materials. It is aimed at children aged eight and upwards who can work on their own with occasional adult help, but many of the instruments are also suitable for much younger children. The book includes 14 practical projects, with step by step instructions and photographs.
Make A Poptar
Nick Penny makes an stringed guitar like instrument from simple junk materials, including a soda bottle (hence the name). One of the projects from his book.
- YouTube URL
Styrofoam is a great material and can be used for many things like prototyping, prop making and even RC airplanes. Cutting Styrofoam can be very tricky though. The best tool for this is a hot wire foam cutter. Benne, in the Netherlands, wanted to be able to use recycled Styrofoam for projects, and decided to make his own cutter.
A hot wire foam cutter can be made simply. Benne designed one with the best features he could think of. Even if you don't have access to some of his tools, you can use this guide to make an inexpensive cutter with a few hours work.
Smartphone Digital Microscope
A video showing the steps to build the platform and the gorgeous results. Check out Smartphone to Microscope for $10 on this page.
- YouTube URL
Transform your smartphone into a powerful digital microscope with a stand you can build for for about $10.
This resource provides simple experiments to ask questions and get answers, allowing your students to become scientists. Here are a set of experiments with ingredients you can find in your kitchen or laundry room.
Experiments include Testing for Glucose and Starch, Which Type of Water is the Hardest, Measuring The Speed Of Sound Using Echoes, and Do You Know What Soil Is Made Of.
Sugru is a mouldable silicone rubber glue or clay that sticks to almost anything, moulds like play-dough, then cures overnight. You can create an inexpensive alternative using just clear silicone caulk (like you'd use in the bathroom) and corn starch.
This post covers how to make it, casting or hand forming it into different shapes, adding colors, and project ideas.
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Other Areas To Check Out...
• Tips for Science Fair Projects
• Community-based Science Projects
• Algodoo 2-D Physics Sandbox
• Major Networks for Educators
• AIDS / HIV Resources
• Benchmarks for Science Literacy - Project 2061