We love hands-on activities at Growing With Science, which is why we were excited to find Build It: Invent New Structures and Contraptions by Tammy Enz.
Author Enz is a civil engineer, and her experience shows in the details in each of the projects. Included are instructions on how to make a device that can open an close a door remotely (with strings), a newspaper fort, a trash grabber, toothpick bridge, a pet waterer and many more. Each project comes with a list of materials and step-by-step instructions with color photographs accompanying each step.
In addition to the projects, sidebars are sprinkled throughout that reveal some historically-important inventions. Did you know the can opener was invented 48 years after the invention of the tin can? Amazing!
Build It: Invent New Structures and Contraptions would be great for a busy teacher looking for a quick science or engineering project because it has complete and detailed plans. It would also be fun for the home inventor who could build the project as presented and then use the skills he or she learned to tweak the design or come with up with a whole new invention.
The book contains plans for a toothpick bridge held together with hot glue. If you want to work with younger children who aren’t ready for a hot glue gun, try the classic toothpicks and mini-marshmallows. The children can build bridges or towers.
Plastic drinking straws, craft picks, dried spaghetti, gumdrops and even grapes can be building materials (Although the grapes are temporary).
These projects are sure to lead to bigger things.
What our STEM Friday participants are sharing today:
Look for a mixture of fiction and nonfiction in Theodore Taylor’s The Bomb, reviewed by Marina Duff.
Sue has an activity for mapping a stream that is appropriate for our drought-plagued summer at Archimedes Notebook.
(Note: I apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced by the post coming up late. It was a calendar malfunction.)
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