In this post, I’m going to talk first about some engineering activities my kids did over the break… and then in the second part of this post I’m going to share an amazing free engineering resource for kids.
So, first the activities! As many of you know, I found out that I would have to move our blog from our Parents.com location to this new website. That was an enormous undertaking (I have thousands of posts and hundreds of printables!!); it’s still a work in progress!! Knowing that, we signed up the kids for several engineering mini-camps. What a HUGE, HUGE hit they were with the kids!! They were there from 8:30-3:30 and did a number of projects — working as a team with other kids to build various contraptions.
The kids made a giant roller coaster together as a team. Then it was their own turn to create their own marble run. They were give heavy pieces of thick poster board and various supplies like cotton balls, tape, tin foil and popcycle sticks. DD’s best friend made a traditional marble run, but DD turned hers into a game. The object of her game is to tilt the board all around, having the marble touch all the cotton balls while making your way from the top to the “finish area” at the bottom! That’d be a pretty fun/easy project to do with the kids, right?!
The kids also made goop and playdough… Lots of us have had our kids do that at home, but they still had fun with it.
Another day, the kids were given various materials for an egg drop.
We did something similar a couple of years ago — when I told the kids to build a parachute that would safely transport objects down from a 12 foot drop and another fun activity we did was out Egg-speriment – Protect That Brain. They cam up with some pretty clever designs back then!
So, back to their engineering activities this past week… This is a project I’ve seen on the internet numerous places, but we just hadn’t ever gotten to. Finally, the kids had a chance to build their own catapults! Isn’t this creative? And, I can tell you it really works!
Since we’re on the topic of Engineering, I thought I’d share with you the amazing free engineering curriculum put out by the Museum of Science, Boston. I’ve gone into detail about the free units for grades 3-5 and 6-8, so I’ll let you pop on over to that post for all the details, but since I was quite busy over the break, I thought I’d start off our homeschool semester with one of their free units — this one on Shake Things Up. If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know that last semester we were studying Earth Science. We didn’t go into as much detail about earthquakes as I would have liked because we ran out of time (we finished up with volcanoes and then BAM it was Christmas!). So, I revved up my printer and got this ready. We’ll be working on this week. Thank you to the Museum of Science for this amazing earthquake engineering unit!
You might also like this post I wrote over at Parents.com — Fun 20-minute Engineering Activities for Kids.
Be sure to check out this post for links and information about many of their other free engineering units.
See you again soon here or at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! ~Liesl