Subject: Science, Art
Category: Investigation, Creativity
Target Age: 6 and up
Price (as of publishing): FREE
We don’t very often rave about an app that at first glance lets you do one thing – take a picture. By recommending the DIY.org app we hope to make you aware of both a website and community full of invention and inspiration. The app houses the camera for capturing your child’s projects. These pictures become a portfolio of projects which can be shared with family and friends. Even featured in the greater DIY community to inspire other kids.
The DIY community taps into some of the best parts of technology. The ability to share with people around the world. Wonder and improve upon the ideas of others. Receive instant feedback from family and friends. Make new friends with similar interests.
We recommend parents head over to the DIY website and find a way to tailor the experience for your families needs. Here is our short list of ways to get started with DIY and the DIY.org app.
- Explore the projects other kids have created to inspire your own.
- Set up an account for your child to share with family and friends online.
- Use the stickers and rewards to motivate a reluctant inventor.
- Use the camera to take pictures of your child’s projects and create a portfolio for them to go back to at the end of the summer.
There are lots of ways to create the experience you want for your child. Learn more on the info for parents page. When you are on the homepage of the website, click on the picture at the top and drag it around to see some amazing artwork.
Show What You Know
Two very important members of the KinderTown team come from a family of engineers and educators who have learned how to play well together. Each year they host a Family Science Day. In our Show What You Know this week Kay, our education advisor, is so kind to share tips and ideas for getting an event like this started with your family.
You too can host your own Family Science Day!
The annual event of Family Science Day is something that we all look forward to each year. Over the last few years it has evolved to include more than just family too. It usually is a fun day for kids, parents, family and friends to get together for laughing and learning. We have been doing this a while so it has evolved into quite an event, but we hope that it sparks some inspiration for you to start a family event of your own.
Be ready for anything to transpire on Family Science Day. This year we had our first controversy over who won. My husband’s team is claiming their rocket was never found because their launch went into orbit. So we are adding a new rule: All rockets must be found. I do acknowledge they are the first losers and since I am writing this blog, the Fat Lady has Sung!
Have I peeked your interest yet? Want to learn more?
Here are few guidelines, revised over the years, which have helped make our Annual Family Science Day a huge success.
The teams are set before everyone arrive. We use a whiteboard to display teams and keep track of points accumulated. Four to six people per team are assigned with age (we include all kids over 2), careers and personalities taken into account. The teams are announced at the “Opening Ceremony” where the schedule and instructions are given out. The spokesperson/judge for the day might sound something like this:
“There will be two events. Teams will remain the same for both. Each team must elect a President who then selects a spokesperson and trade representative. The spokesperson and trade rep must be under 18. Prior to the start of the each competition, the spokesperson will present their teams design and how the process was approached. The judge will also select a Best in Show. Everyone is assigned a work space and no one can leave that room except the trade representative. This will be strictly enforced!”
Each team is given a box of items for them to use. The contents in each box are not the same, making trading very important. You can only use items from your own box or items that your “trade representative” trades for. If there are any trade dispute they will be brought to the WTO (yes, we have our own World Trade Organization) to determine a remedy. Any components you use in the first event can not be used in the second event. The second mission is announced after the first mission has been completed.
Time frame usually looks like this:
1:00: Start time instructions
1:15: Start building
2:00: Event 1. Each spokesperson will explain how they developed their project before their team project is tested. Points are then awarded.
3:00: Start second project
4:00: Event 2
5:00: Awards Ceremony
EVENT 1: A Bridge to Somewhere
Using the items in your box you must build a bridge that is 54” in length. We made bridge requirements 54” because that was a distance we had outside between 2 stationary walls. Oh’yeah, you can not use glue. During the competition you must place a 3×6 flat piece of wood that the judge will provide for the weight to be tested on.
Points Awarded for:
- Bridge standing on its own.
- Each 100 grams it supports (up to 300 grams).
- The bridge that supports the most will get a bonus points.
- 2 bonus points for most visually appealing.
- Additional points for best presentation.
EVENT 2: Speed Kills
Your job is to build the fastest car possible. The car must meet the following criteria:
- Wheel base must be less than 12”
- Overall length must be less than 18”
- Overall width must be less than 10”
The car will race a total of 7 times (our ramp is 16 feet). Repairs can be made only with the items that were on the car during the first race. Preliminary Round: Each team will face each other team. The winner gets additional points. The top 4 teams will move into elimination round. The Final Four bracket then takes place. Points are awarded according to first, second, third or fourth placement.
Possible items in each box:
Remember they should not be identical. This makes trading representative an important position. You should use your imagination here as this will allow creative thinking among group members. It’s important to have lots of items as this allows for discussion and innovation among team members.
- A lot of balsa wood
- Wheels (we often use standard Derby Racer wheels)
- Tape (no glue)
- Measuring stick
I hope you find some inspiration for your own family event. Maybe science isn’t your forte, so don’t be limited by our passions. Family Music Day or Family Reading Week just might fit your family and friends better. The best part of the day is the memories it creates and learning that lasts a lifetime.