Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts of Japan

After hearing of the disaster in Japan we wanted to do something to show our support.  Together, we created several collages and posters and put them on display in The MYC.

Fun with Playdough

Ever made your own playdough?  It's super easy!  And you probably have everything you need at home already.  Though it was a bit messy, we had a lot of fun making our own playdough.  Once it was made we customized it with food coloring.   See below for the materials and instructions.  Enjoy!

    3 cups boiling water
    3 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups salt
    1 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
    3 tsp cream of tartar

    Mix all ingredients except for the flour in a large bowl.
    Once well mixed, add flour.
    Stir continuously until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
    Once well mixed, remove from bowl and knead on floured surface.
    If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
    Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
    Color with food coloring if desired.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cardboard Automata

For our second project in our Maker Series we built Cardboard Automata.  They are a playful way to explore simple machine elements such as cams, levers, and linkages, while creating a mechanical sculpture.

We used simple materials that you could find around your house:
  • cardboard
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • straw
  • hot glue gun
  • Foamies
  • skewer sticks
Check out how it works

This project was inspired by creations from the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Ca.  Instructions for this project can be found here.

Water Wars!

The Challenge
       Build a boat that can hold 25 pennies for 10 seconds; 50 pennies; 75 pennies; 100 pennies.

The Materials
       straws, duct tape, plastic wrap

We worked in teams and individually to build our boats.  We designed boats that were long, short, wide, and deep.  There were many different designs.  Almost all of the boats held 25 pennies for 10 seconds.  A few held 50 pennies for 10 seconds.  

And only one boat held 75 pennies for 10 seconds.  The winning boat actually held 95 pennies for 10 seconds.  It sunk at 97 pennies.

This idea was taken from the Design Squad.  Check it out here.