Projects

Download a free project to do with your class or at home with your children.

Most Nomad Press projects require no special equipment or tools and little to no adult supervision. You can often use ordinary household materials and parts. That way kids can build a simple,do-it-yourself projects without spending a lot of money. View the summary of the activity and if you like you can either download or view the activity in your web browser.

Swim Paddles

Even at a young age, Ben was a good observer and inventor. When he was swimming, he saw that some kids could swim faster than others. Ben decided to experiment with ways to make himself go faster both on the surface and under the water. He believed that the size of a swimmer’s hands . . . MORE

Even at a young age, Ben was a good observer and inventor. When he was swimming, he saw that some kids could swim faster than others. Ben decided to experiment with ways to make himself go faster both on the surface and under the water. He believed that the size of a swimmer’s hands and feet might be the difference, so when he was around 10 years old, he invented swim paddles. Now you have a chance to make your own swim paddles, just like Ben!


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Skateboard Ramp Design

Your town is looking to design a skateboard park and they have asked for suggestions. You and a group of your friends have some ideas for ramps and would like to submit them to the committee.

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Your town is looking to design a skateboard park and they have asked for suggestions. You and a group of your friends have some ideas for ramps and would like to submit them to the committee.


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Make Your Own Plastic

While this recipe doesn’t involve boiling lilies or eggs, combining the following ingredients over heat will result in a natural plastic that you can shape, dry, carve, and paint, very similar to Leonardo’s plastic glass.

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While this recipe doesn’t involve boiling lilies or eggs, combining the following ingredients over heat will result in a natural plastic that you can shape, dry, carve, and paint, very similar to Leonardo’s plastic glass.


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Egg Bungee Drop

Zip your egg in a clear pouch and see if it can survive a wild ride. if it can’t, use trial-and-error to make adjustments—and try, try again!

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Zip your egg in a clear pouch and see if it can survive a wild ride. if it can’t, use trial-and-error to make adjustments—and try, try again!

HINT: You can substitute a hard-boiled egg to cut down on mess. Speaking of mess, the ziplock bag could burst, so you might want to conduct your experiment over a tarp or outside.


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Night Watch

When does your night start? It can change every season. One way to keep track is to make your own night watch.

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When does your night start? It can change every season. One way to keep track is to make your own night watch.


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Loom and Cloth

This activity gives you a sense of how much work it was for Maya women to weave clothing by hand for an entire family.

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This activity gives you a sense of how much work it was for Maya women to weave clothing by hand for an entire family.


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Make Your Own Freshwater

The water cycle takes salt water from the ocean and turns it into freshwater. When the salt water evaporates, it leaves the salt in the ocean. When the water vapor cools and turns into rain, it falls as freshwater! This is how rain fills lakes and rivers with freshwater. In this . . . MORE

The water cycle takes salt water from the ocean and turns it into freshwater. When the salt water evaporates, it leaves the salt in the ocean. When the water vapor cools and turns into rain, it falls as freshwater! This is how rain fills lakes and rivers with freshwater. In this activity, you can explore how the water cycle turns salt water into fresh!


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Make a Hanging Garden

King Nebuchadnezzar (NEBUH- KUHD-NEZ-ER) ruled over the Babylonian Empire from 605 to 562 BCE. He married Queen Amytis (A-ME-TIS) of Media, an area in what is now the country of Iran. According to legend, Queen Amytis was quite homesick for the lush, green mountains of Media. King . . . MORE

King Nebuchadnezzar (NEBUH- KUHD-NEZ-ER) ruled over the Babylonian Empire from 605 to 562 BCE. He married Queen Amytis (A-ME-TIS) of Media, an area in what is now the country of Iran. According to legend, Queen Amytis was quite homesick for the lush, green mountains of Media. King Nebuchadnezzar had the Hanging Gardens built to cheer her up and to remind her of her homeland.


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Make Your Own Soap Boat

The colonists’ trip to America took two or three months by sea on large ships. The ships could be about 100 feet long. These ships had to carry enough supplies for the long journey. Some of those supplies were food and water, clothing, guns and gun powder, tools and candles. The . . . MORE

The colonists’ trip to America took two or three months by sea on large ships. The ships could be about 100 feet long. These ships had to carry enough supplies for the long journey. Some of those supplies were food and water, clothing, guns and gun powder, tools and candles. The colonists brought the things they would need for their new lives with them. In this activity you can make your own ship and see if it floats or sinks.


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Anemometer

An anemometer measures wind speed. The Wright brothers used a handheld anemometer to estimate wind speed when they tested their flying machines. You can make an anemometer to record wind speed near your home.

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An anemometer measures wind speed. The Wright brothers used a handheld anemometer to estimate wind speed when they tested their flying machines. You can make an anemometer to record wind speed near your home.


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Make Your Own Berry Ink

The ancient Egyptians used brightly colored minerals to make ink, but you can use blackberries to make homemade ink to use on your papyrus.

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The ancient Egyptians used brightly colored minerals to make ink, but you can use blackberries to make homemade ink to use on your papyrus.


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Sending Signals

Neurons send signals by releasing chemical neurotransmitters across a synapse, the space between neurons. The axon terminal releases the neurotransmitter, which moves across the synapse and attaches to receptors on the dendrites of a nearby neuron. This generates an electrical signal . . . MORE

Neurons send signals by releasing chemical neurotransmitters across a synapse, the space between neurons. The axon terminal releases the neurotransmitter, which moves across the synapse and attaches to receptors on the dendrites of a nearby neuron. This generates an electrical signal that goes to the neuron’s cell body. If enough input signals are received, the cell body produces an electrical signal called an action potential, which travels down the axon to an axon terminal. From the axon terminal, neurotransmitters are released.

You can create a model of these signals using a few friends or classmates and some cotton balls.


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Covered Wagon

Covered wagons were about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. They were covered by canvas laid over the top of a wooden hoop frame. A team of oxen usually pulled the wagon, which held most of a family’s food and supplies for the 4- or 5-month journey. They could hold up to 2,500 pounds of . . . MORE

Covered wagons were about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. They were covered by canvas laid over the top of a wooden hoop frame. A team of oxen usually pulled the wagon, which held most of a family’s food and supplies for the 4- or 5-month journey. They could hold up to 2,500 pounds of supplies. Some families traveled with more than one wagon. Covered wagons were often called prairie schooners because the white canvas tops looked like sails moving through a sea of prairie grass.


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Who's In Charge?

What would your life be like if you were ruled by someone who didn’t follow the rules or made up their own rules? Here’s your chance to find out!

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What would your life be like if you were ruled by someone who didn’t follow the rules or made up their own rules? Here’s your chance to find out!


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Make Your Own Igneous Rocks

When a volcano erupts, the rocks that form can have minerals that are big enough to see, or so small they can’t be seen. Sometimes a mineral doesn’t form at all and the rock is a glass. Try some of your own “lava” to see why each of these types of rocks form.

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When a volcano erupts, the rocks that form can have minerals that are big enough to see, or so small they can’t be seen. Sometimes a mineral doesn’t form at all and the rock is a glass. Try some of your own “lava” to see why each of these types of rocks form.

CAUTION: This project involves very hot liquids, so get an adult to help.


Make Your Own Compass

Before to the compass, sailors used landmarks and the position of the sun and stars to tell them which direction to sail. They often kept within sight of land, in case it became foggy or cloudy. The invention of the compass allowed sailors to navigate safely away from land. A . . . MORE

Before to the compass, sailors used landmarks and the position of the sun and stars to tell them which direction to sail. They often kept within sight of land, in case it became foggy or cloudy. The invention of the compass allowed sailors to navigate safely away from land. A compass’s magnetized needle aligns itself with the lines of the earth’s magnetic field. When the compass is level, the needle turns until one end points to the North magnetic pole, giving sailors direction no matter what the weather.


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Salt Water Experiment

Trapped in the middle of the ocean with no freshwater to drink? No problem! There is a way to make salt water good to drink.

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Trapped in the middle of the ocean with no freshwater to drink? No problem! There is a way to make salt water good to drink.


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Aeolipile

In this project, you can recreate the work of the Greek mathematician Hero, using water instead of steam. The basic principle of action and reaction is the same—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As the water shoots out of the holes in the carton, it pushes on . . . MORE

In this project, you can recreate the work of the Greek mathematician Hero, using water instead of steam. The basic principle of action and reaction is the same—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As the water shoots out of the holes in the carton, it pushes on the carton with an equal force.

NOTE: This project is best performed outside.


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Planetary Rings Model

Did You Know? All four of the Jovian planets-Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have rings around them. saturn’s are just the biggest and most noticeable

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Did You Know? All four of the Jovian planets-Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have rings around them. saturn’s are just the biggest and most noticeable


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Underwater Viewer

A lot of life cycles happen under water, where you can’t see them. With this underwater viewer you’ll be able to get a peek at the action. Have an adult with you when you use this viewer near any body of water.

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A lot of life cycles happen under water, where you can’t see them. With this underwater viewer you’ll be able to get a peek at the action. Have an adult with you when you use this viewer near any body of water.


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Make a Plumb Bob

Ancient Romans used simple tools to build their roads, homes, buildings, and aqueducts. One of these simple tools was a plumb bob. A plumb bob uses gravity to help a make a straight line. Plumb bobs worked so well that many carpenters and builders still use them today!

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Ancient Romans used simple tools to build their roads, homes, buildings, and aqueducts. One of these simple tools was a plumb bob. A plumb bob uses gravity to help a make a straight line. Plumb bobs worked so well that many carpenters and builders still use them today!


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Cloud Forest Terrarium

The Andean cloud forest is found on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains. The warm, humid air from the Amazon basin makes its way up the mountains where it is blocked by cold, denser air there. The trapped air drops its moisture in the form of clouds and mist, quenching the thirst . . . MORE

The Andean cloud forest is found on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains. The warm, humid air from the Amazon basin makes its way up the mountains where it is blocked by cold, denser air there. The trapped air drops its moisture in the form of clouds and mist, quenching the thirst of the plants that grow in this unique ecosystem. A terrarium made from a soda bottle works like the cloud forest. The moist air near the soil rises up and is blocked by the top of the bottle where it condenses, creating ideal growing conditions for moisture-loving plants.

Hint: Ask an adult for help cutting the bottle.


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Model Lungs

Lungs aren’t muscles that move themselves. Instead, they depend on air pressure in your chest cavity and movement from your diaphragm and chest muscles to inflate and deflate. Here’s how you can see this in action.

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Lungs aren’t muscles that move themselves. Instead, they depend on air pressure in your chest cavity and movement from your diaphragm and chest muscles to inflate and deflate. Here’s how you can see this in action.


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What's in a Name? City Naming Project

If you’ve ever wanted to live in Sarahville or Adamsburg, here’s your chance to name your own city!

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If you’ve ever wanted to live in Sarahville or Adamsburg, here’s your chance to name your own city!


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Knitting Spool

Before the power loom was invented, weaving and knitting were slow, tedious tasks. Try hand weaving with your own knitting spool. With a few simple items and some yarn, you can create a knitted tube that you could use as a bracelet, belt, or skinny scarf!

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Before the power loom was invented, weaving and knitting were slow, tedious tasks. Try hand weaving with your own knitting spool. With a few simple items and some yarn, you can create a knitted tube that you could use as a bracelet, belt, or skinny scarf!


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Make Your Own Marshmallows

Ancient people used a plant to make marshmallows, but that’s not how we make them today. If you’ve never created your own marshmallows before you’re in for a treat! They’re easy to make, and they taste fantastic!

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Ancient people used a plant to make marshmallows, but that’s not how we make them today. If you’ve never created your own marshmallows before you’re in for a treat! They’re easy to make, and they taste fantastic!

Make sure you have adult supervision.


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Build a "Mini-Yurt"

Different ethnic groups within China had their own unique building styles. For example, the nomadic Mongols often built yurts, which were rounded tents held up by a wooden pole framework. They were covered by skins and were easy to move.

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Different ethnic groups within China had their own unique building styles. For example, the nomadic Mongols often built yurts, which were rounded tents held up by a wooden pole framework. They were covered by skins and were easy to move.

Yurts were designed to be very portable and easy to build. Your “mini-yurt” might be a little too small to live in, but it should still give you a taste of what it was like to build one!


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Make an Egyptian Headrest

Egyptian headrests were made of many kinds of material. Most were carved out of wood. Pharaohs’ headrests were often made of ivory or gold. The directions for this project call for gold spray paint, but you can decorate your headrest any way you’d like. You’ll be using wire . . . MORE

Egyptian headrests were made of many kinds of material. Most were carved out of wood. Pharaohs’ headrests were often made of ivory or gold. The directions for this project call for gold spray paint, but you can decorate your headrest any way you’d like. You’ll be using wire cutters and spray paint for this project so have a grownup nearby. This project is messy. Put plenty of newspaper on your work area.


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Credit, Then and Now

The 1920s saw the birth of consumer credit, with charge accounts at stores, credit cards, and installment loans. Today it’s hard to imagine modern life without these kinds of credit. Yet in both eras, families often found themselves in severe financial hardship due to overusing easy . . . MORE

The 1920s saw the birth of consumer credit, with charge accounts at stores, credit cards, and installment loans. Today it’s hard to imagine modern life without these kinds of credit. Yet in both eras, families often found themselves in severe financial hardship due to overusing easy credit and then not being able to pay their bills.


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Reading Seasons from a Shadow

Each day the sun appears to move across the sky from east to west (actually the sun stays in place and the earth spins on its axis). Although the sun may seem to rise and set at the same spot on the horizon each day, the path it takes between those two points varies over the course of . . . MORE

Each day the sun appears to move across the sky from east to west (actually the sun stays in place and the earth spins on its axis). Although the sun may seem to rise and set at the same spot on the horizon each day, the path it takes between those two points varies over the course of the year.

To learn how the path of the sun changes over the year, you can indirectly observe its changing arc. The movement of shadows across the ground shows which season it is.


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Blood Spatter Patterns

Blood spatter is a collection of blood spots, which may be different sizes and shapes depending on how they were formed. Blood spatter differs depending on the amount of blood, the speed of the drop, the angle at which it hits the ground, and the distance the drop travels.

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Blood spatter is a collection of blood spots, which may be different sizes and shapes depending on how they were formed. Blood spatter differs depending on the amount of blood, the speed of the drop, the angle at which it hits the ground, and the distance the drop travels.


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Make Your Own Shake Table

Architects and engineers who design buildings in areas prone to earthquakes try to create structures that will be stable if an earthquake hits. a shake table is used to shake a model and see what happens. It makes the same motion as an earthquake. You can see what it’s like when you . . . MORE

Architects and engineers who design buildings in areas prone to earthquakes try to create structures that will be stable if an earthquake hits. a shake table is used to shake a model and see what happens. It makes the same motion as an earthquake. You can see what it’s like when you build your own shake table and then try to create structures that can withstand the force of moving earth beneath them.


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Make a Kylix

A kylix is a two-handled cup the ancient Greeks used. When they weren’t drinking from it, the family hung the cup on the wall, by one of the handles, for decoration.

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A kylix is a two-handled cup the ancient Greeks used. When they weren’t drinking from it, the family hung the cup on the wall, by one of the handles, for decoration.


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Origami Solar System Mobile

All the members of our solar system travel around the sun. The route they travel is called an orbit. Each planet’s orbit is different. Like runners at the Olympics, each has a separate lane. The planets do not switch lanes because the sun’s gravity keeps them in their place. If . . . MORE

All the members of our solar system travel around the sun. The route they travel is called an orbit. Each planet’s orbit is different. Like runners at the Olympics, each has a separate lane. The planets do not switch lanes because the sun’s gravity keeps them in their place. If there was no gravity the planets would simply spin off into space like bumper cars. Imagine that!


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Map Your State's Natural Resources

Make a three-dimensional map to give you an understanding of the natural resources in your state. This map will include natural resources found in your state, such as fish or forests, but not products made by them.

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Make a three-dimensional map to give you an understanding of the natural resources in your state. This map will include natural resources found in your state, such as fish or forests, but not products made by them.

NOTE: This activity requires going online. Ask an adult to supervise while you are on the Internet.


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Alka-Seltzer Rocket

Make your own Alka-Seltzer rocket!

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Make your own Alka-Seltzer rocket!

Caution: Never point the film canister at someone once you have closed the lid. Keep your own face away from the lid. Wear goggles to protect your eyes. Also, Alka-Seltzer contains aspirin. Don’t eat it and keep it away from small children and pets. Do this activity outside!


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Dominant vs. Recessive Traits

As Mendel discovered in his pea plant experiments, some human traits are controlled by dominant and recessive genes. Parents pass the genes that control these traits to their offspring. Which inherited traits do you have?

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As Mendel discovered in his pea plant experiments, some human traits are controlled by dominant and recessive genes. Parents pass the genes that control these traits to their offspring. Which inherited traits do you have?


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Signal Lantern

Robert Newman was the caretaker of the Old North Church. On the night of April 18, 1775 he climbed the tall steeple in total darkness. When he reached the top, he lit two lanterns and held them to the window. This signaled to the patriots on the other side of the river that British . . . MORE

Robert Newman was the caretaker of the Old North Church. On the night of April 18, 1775 he climbed the tall steeple in total darkness. When he reached the top, he lit two lanterns and held them to the window. This signaled to the patriots on the other side of the river that British troops had taken the water route to Concord. Ask an adult to help you make your own signal lantern.


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Ring and Pin Game

Native Americans played many games. The games varied by tribe, and many were based on physical skills. The point of many of the games was to help improve hunting skills. Foot races improved speed, hideand- seek games were good practice for being silent, and archery games sharpened a . . . MORE

Native Americans played many games. The games varied by tribe, and many were based on physical skills. The point of many of the games was to help improve hunting skills. Foot races improved speed, hideand- seek games were good practice for being silent, and archery games sharpened a hunter’s aim. Are you surprised that Native Americans of long ago played the same types of games that you still play today?


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On the Straight and Level

In the introduction you made a plumb bob that used gravity to make sure things are vertical. Now you can make a water level, a tool that uses gravity to make sure things are straight across! The water level works because when water is in a confined space, gravity makes sure the top of . . . MORE

In the introduction you made a plumb bob that used gravity to make sure things are vertical. Now you can make a water level, a tool that uses gravity to make sure things are straight across! The water level works because when water is in a confined space, gravity makes sure the top of it is level.


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Make a Rainbow Myth Window Hanging

In the Bible, God creates the rainbow as a symbol of his promise never to send another flood to destroy mankind. For the ancient Greeks, the rainbow was the goddess Iris. She carried messages from Earth to the heavens. The Norse believed that a rainbow bridge connected Middle Earth with . . . MORE

In the Bible, God creates the rainbow as a symbol of his promise never to send another flood to destroy mankind. For the ancient Greeks, the rainbow was the goddess Iris. She carried messages from Earth to the heavens. The Norse believed that a rainbow bridge connected Middle Earth with Asgard, the home of the gods. In Japan, the rainbow was considered the Floating Bridge of Heaven. In Australia, the Aborigines tell stories about the Rainbow Serpent who creates the rivers and lakes as she moves across the land. And in Africa, Aido-Hwedo is the Rainbow Snake who surrounds the earth, munching on his own tail.


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Rocky Treats

With this project, you can see how molecules that are separated can come back together—and then you get to eat the results!

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With this project, you can see how molecules that are separated can come back together—and then you get to eat the results!

CAUTION: An adult needs to help with the boiling water.


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Make a Manga-style Sketchbook

Hokusai made his own sketchbooks and filled them with drawings of what he saw each day. Make your own manga-style sketchbook with staples, glue, and paper.

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Hokusai made his own sketchbooks and filled them with drawings of what he saw each day. Make your own manga-style sketchbook with staples, glue, and paper.


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Make Your Own Victory Banner

During World War II, families made patriotic banners called victory banners or sons-in-service flags to show their support for their sons, fathers, and brothers battling far away on the front lines. Banners were hung from a window or door at the front of the house where everyone could . . . MORE

During World War II, families made patriotic banners called victory banners or sons-in-service flags to show their support for their sons, fathers, and brothers battling far away on the front lines. Banners were hung from a window or door at the front of the house where everyone could see them. The banners were white rectangles with a red border, and featured a blue star for every family member who was serving on the battlefront. If a soldier was killed, families would replace the blue star with a gold star.


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Bags o' Bread Mold

Fungi lack chlorophyll, so they can’t obtain energy from the sun and can’t produce their own food. To get energy, many fungi feast on dead organisms. Mold is a fuzzy, multicellular fungus that flourishes in many environments. It reproduces with spores. You can grow your own mold on . . . MORE

Fungi lack chlorophyll, so they can’t obtain energy from the sun and can’t produce their own food. To get energy, many fungi feast on dead organisms. Mold is a fuzzy, multicellular fungus that flourishes in many environments. It reproduces with spores. You can grow your own mold on slices of bread. What happens when you place them in different environments?

Caution: Some people are allergic to mold spores. Inhaling spores can be harmful. Keep ziplock bags tightly sealed at all times. Don’t touch mold. Ask an adult to help you choose environments out of reach of family members and pets. When you finish the project, ask an adult to safely dispose of the sealed bags.


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Recycled Paper

This is a two-part activity, and this first part is messy. After you create your own recycled paper, go outside to Investigate Your Home Turf. Go outside and ramble around your home, school, a park, or a natural area. Drink in the sights and sounds of your environment. Does the scenery . . . MORE

This is a two-part activity, and this first part is messy. After you create your own recycled paper, go outside to Investigate Your Home Turf. Go outside and ramble around your home, school, a park, or a natural area. Drink in the sights and sounds of your environment. Does the scenery include mountains, ravines, prairies, or ponds? What are the weather conditions? What kinds of plant and animal life do you observe?


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Simple Energy Car

With this simple car, you’ll see the difference between stored energy and kinetic energy. When the rubber band is twisted tight, it’s packed with potential energy—stored up and ready for anything. When you release the rubber band, the potential energy is converted into kinetic . . . MORE

With this simple car, you’ll see the difference between stored energy and kinetic energy. When the rubber band is twisted tight, it’s packed with potential energy—stored up and ready for anything. When you release the rubber band, the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy—and your car moves. Try different sizes of rubber bands to see the difference in output.


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Passive Dynamic Mini-Walker

A passive dynamic walker doesn’t need a motor or actuator of any kind. Its only power source is the force of gravity! Also called a ramp walker, this system of walking works best on a slightly downward-tilted surface. Give it a little push and gravity will pull it downhill the rest of . . . MORE

A passive dynamic walker doesn’t need a motor or actuator of any kind. Its only power source is the force of gravity! Also called a ramp walker, this system of walking works best on a slightly downward-tilted surface. Give it a little push and gravity will pull it downhill the rest of the way. This method of walking doesn’t just save energy, it looks more natural too. Here is one way of making a small-scale passive dynamic walker. Experiment with different sizes and shapes, or use other materials that you have on hand. You can also try four legs instead of two, give your walker knees, or attach swinging arms to add energy to each step.


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Lean-to Shelter

If you don’t have access to a backyard full of branches, you can use any sort of stick or pole such as broom or rake handles, ski poles, or garden stakes. You could build your lean-to up against the wall of a building. If you decide to do this, you may want some other stabilizing . . . MORE

If you don’t have access to a backyard full of branches, you can use any sort of stick or pole such as broom or rake handles, ski poles, or garden stakes. You could build your lean-to up against the wall of a building. If you decide to do this, you may want some other stabilizing sticks in order to hold it up. If you want to build your lean-to inside, build it against a bed, couch, or other object that is a good height. In both of these cases, use rope or other material to stabilize the lean-to so it won’t fall on top of you.


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Make Your Own Longhouse

The Iroquois men built their longhouses in the spring when the trees were young and flexible. Longhouses were large enough for 20 or more families to live in. Native Americans used materials that they found in nature. They believed that nothing should go to waste. Build a longhouse . . . MORE

The Iroquois men built their longhouses in the spring when the trees were young and flexible. Longhouses were large enough for 20 or more families to live in. Native Americans used materials that they found in nature. They believed that nothing should go to waste. Build a longhouse using as many natural resources as you can find, including dried weeds, straw, and twigs.


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Make Your Own Sundial

Shadows change direction depending on the time of day. As the earth rotates and the sun moves across the sky, shadows also move. In the morning, your shadow will stretch out behind you to the west, but in the evening it will stretch to the east. The shadow on your sundial does the same . . . MORE

Shadows change direction depending on the time of day. As the earth rotates and the sun moves across the sky, shadows also move. In the morning, your shadow will stretch out behind you to the west, but in the evening it will stretch to the east. The shadow on your sundial does the same thing.


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Barter Chart

When you barter, you have to decide if one thing is worth as much as another thing. Think of six different kinds of candy. Are they all the same size? Do you like them all equally? What would it take for you trade them?

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When you barter, you have to decide if one thing is worth as much as another thing. Think of six different kinds of candy. Are they all the same size? Do you like them all equally? What would it take for you trade them?


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Make Your Own Gordian Knot

One legend says Alexander conquered Asia by solving the puzzle of the Gordian Knot. According to a prophecy, whoever untied this endless knot would rule the continent. Alexander took the direct approach—he cut the knot open with his sword. Today, a “Gordian knot” means an . . . MORE

One legend says Alexander conquered Asia by solving the puzzle of the Gordian Knot. According to a prophecy, whoever untied this endless knot would rule the continent. Alexander took the direct approach—he cut the knot open with his sword. Today, a “Gordian knot” means an unsolvable problem. No one knows exactly what the Gordian Knot looked like. But you can make a knot called a Turk’s Head appear “endless” by joining the ends after it’s tied.


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Make a Poetry Journal

Most poets carry a notebook around with them wherever they go. Why? In case they think of something when they’re not at their desk! Inspiration can happen at any moment, and it’s a great idea to keep all of your poetry thoughts and drafts in one place.

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Most poets carry a notebook around with them wherever they go. Why? In case they think of something when they’re not at their desk! Inspiration can happen at any moment, and it’s a great idea to keep all of your poetry thoughts and drafts in one place.


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Mini Food Chain

Here’s a way you can create a tiny food chain to watch a predator and its prey.

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Here’s a way you can create a tiny food chain to watch a predator and its prey.


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Electroscope

William Gilbert used a device called a versorium to test an object’s charge. You can make a similar device to see static electricity at work.

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William Gilbert used a device called a versorium to test an object’s charge. You can make a similar device to see static electricity at work.


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Build a Miniature Bullboat

Native Americans living in the Great Plains, including the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes of the upper Missouri River area, weren’t just hunters. They also fished in the many rivers that wind through the Plains. Some of these rivers, like the Missouri and Knife Rivers, are so big that . . . MORE

Native Americans living in the Great Plains, including the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes of the upper Missouri River area, weren’t just hunters. They also fished in the many rivers that wind through the Plains. Some of these rivers, like the Missouri and Knife Rivers, are so big that Native Americans needed boats to cross them. It should be no surprise that bison were used in making these boats, called bullboats.


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Carnation Creation

Here is a really fun way to watch capillary action in action.

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Here is a really fun way to watch capillary action in action.


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The Right Footing

A pagoda’s tiers hold up to the force of powerful winds by moving independently. Shibam’s mud skyrises also stand up to the force of wind. But Shibam is vulnerable to floods. Experiment with natural materials to build foundations, determining which best stand up to the forces of . . . MORE

A pagoda’s tiers hold up to the force of powerful winds by moving independently. Shibam’s mud skyrises also stand up to the force of wind. But Shibam is vulnerable to floods. Experiment with natural materials to build foundations, determining which best stand up to the forces of wind and water.


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Juggling Sticks

Juggling sticks have been around for thousands of years, but no one is quite sure how they made their way to Europe. Some people believe that they may have come to Europe from China (where they were called Devil sticks) along the Silk Road with Marco Polo. The Silk Road was an ancient . . . MORE

Juggling sticks have been around for thousands of years, but no one is quite sure how they made their way to Europe. Some people believe that they may have come to Europe from China (where they were called Devil sticks) along the Silk Road with Marco Polo. The Silk Road was an ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea. Marco Polo was a merchant and adventurer from Venice, Italy, who traveled the Silk Road in the thirteenth century. He wrote a famous book about his travels.


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Warbling Wineglasses

Ben Franklin was an inventor, composer, and musician who lived from 1706 to 1790. He created the glass armonica, which was a popular musical instrument of the time made of glasses mounted on a revolving spindle, played with a moistened fingertip. Where did Franklin find the inspiration . . . MORE

Ben Franklin was an inventor, composer, and musician who lived from 1706 to 1790. He created the glass armonica, which was a popular musical instrument of the time made of glasses mounted on a revolving spindle, played with a moistened fingertip. Where did Franklin find the inspiration for the glass armonica? At a musical performance in London, the performer’s instruments were wineglasses of different sizes filled with water. With a wet fingertip, the musician circled the glasses’ rims. The glasses responded to the friction in a variety of pitches, and the resulting vibrations produced ethereal, haunting sounds.

Work with your classmates, friends, or family members to create warbling wineglasses. Experiment with varying water levels to create different pitches.


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Kinetoscope

The kinetoscope was a wooden box used to look at images made on a kinetograph. A kinetograph took many quick pictures in a row. People paid a nickel to look through a slit in the box to see the images in motion. You can make your own kinetoscope and motion picture.

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The kinetoscope was a wooden box used to look at images made on a kinetograph. A kinetograph took many quick pictures in a row. People paid a nickel to look through a slit in the box to see the images in motion. You can make your own kinetoscope and motion picture.

NOTE: You will need an adult to help you with this project.


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Write a Letter in Greek

Using the chart, write a letter to a friend. Because the symbols are so different from the letters of the English alphabet, it’s almost like writing in code. In some cases the sound of a word is more important than its English spelling. For instance, you’ll notice that the Greek . . . MORE

Using the chart, write a letter to a friend. Because the symbols are so different from the letters of the English alphabet, it’s almost like writing in code. In some cases the sound of a word is more important than its English spelling. For instance, you’ll notice that the Greek alphabet doesn’t have an F. So if you want to write the word fantastic, you’ll need to use Φ to begin the word.


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Uncovering Your Family History

Like the stories surrounding the beginnings of Rome, most families have stories that have been passed down from generation to generation that may or may not be completely true.

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Like the stories surrounding the beginnings of Rome, most families have stories that have been passed down from generation to generation that may or may not be completely true.


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Design Your Own Official Seal

Now that you have some ideas for symbols for your country, use them to create your micronation’s official coat of arms and a seal. Seals were originally designs pressed into a soft piece of wax with a mold. A seal put on a document shows that a person or government official has . . . MORE

Now that you have some ideas for symbols for your country, use them to create your micronation’s official coat of arms and a seal. Seals were originally designs pressed into a soft piece of wax with a mold. A seal put on a document shows that a person or government official has approved it. Today, seals are usually stamped on with an inkpad or pressed into a piece of paper with a special tool so that it leaves a raised mark. This project makes a rubbery stamp for putting an inked seal on important documents.


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Build a Balance Board

Earth’s atmosphere is in a delicate balance. Humans are adding carbon dioxide at a rapid rate. The atmosphere needs to stay in balance just like your balance board, but it doesn’t take much to create an imbalance.

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Earth’s atmosphere is in a delicate balance. Humans are adding carbon dioxide at a rapid rate. The atmosphere needs to stay in balance just like your balance board, but it doesn’t take much to create an imbalance.


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Honey Bee Journal

Keep track of all you do and learn in a special Honey Bee Journal. As you add more pages, your journal will start to look like a flower!

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Keep track of all you do and learn in a special Honey Bee Journal. As you add more pages, your journal will start to look like a flower!


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Invisible Ink

One way to send secret messages during the Revolutionary War was to use invisible ink.

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One way to send secret messages during the Revolutionary War was to use invisible ink.


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Tetrahedron Forcebuster

Civil engineers rely on triangles for many constructions. it is the strongest shape. The tetrahedron is a shape with four triangular faces (think of the pyramids of egypt). Test how well triangle power can resist pushing and pulling forces. Ask an adult to help you thread the sewing . . . MORE

Civil engineers rely on triangles for many constructions. it is the strongest shape. The tetrahedron is a shape with four triangular faces (think of the pyramids of egypt). Test how well triangle power can resist pushing and pulling forces. Ask an adult to help you thread the sewing needle and supervise as you use it. Connect the straws tightly. They should be rigid, not loose. it is helpful if all straws meeting at one vertex have a different color. That’s the point where the angles intersect.


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Use an Abacus

Place numbers onto your abacus by pushing earthly and heavenly beads toward the midway mark of the skewer. For example, the number 7 consists of 1 heavenly bead (representing 5) plus 2 earthly beads (representing 2) at the midway point. Let’s add 148 and 312 on our abacus.

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Place numbers onto your abacus by pushing earthly and heavenly beads toward the midway mark of the skewer. For example, the number 7 consists of 1 heavenly bead (representing 5) plus 2 earthly beads (representing 2) at the midway point. Let’s add 148 and 312 on our abacus.


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Chart of Businesses

Business is part of our everyday life. In this activity you’ll organize businesses into a chart so it’s easier to see how businesses affect your life.

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Business is part of our everyday life. In this activity you’ll organize businesses into a chart so it’s easier to see how businesses affect your life.


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Make Your Own Jumping Jack

A jumping jack is a puppet that is usually made from wood with strings connecting the joints. It is one of the earliest types of mechanical toys to use levers. The arms and legs of the puppet move up and down when the string is pulled. Try this activity to make your own jumping . . . MORE

A jumping jack is a puppet that is usually made from wood with strings connecting the joints. It is one of the earliest types of mechanical toys to use levers. The arms and legs of the puppet move up and down when the string is pulled. Try this activity to make your own jumping jack.


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Make Your Own Barometer

One way you can predict the weather is by using a barometer. Barometers measure the air pressure around you. Keep track of the air pressure, and see what kind of weather happens the next day. After some practice, you might be able to make your own forecasts!

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One way you can predict the weather is by using a barometer. Barometers measure the air pressure around you. Keep track of the air pressure, and see what kind of weather happens the next day. After some practice, you might be able to make your own forecasts!


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How Far Can You Go?

Why do some animals migrate so far, and some stay so close to home? This activity will help you think about why different kinds of animals travel different distances when they migrate. For this activity you will need a few people: one to call out animal names, and the others to be . . . MORE

Why do some animals migrate so far, and some stay so close to home? This activity will help you think about why different kinds of animals travel different distances when they migrate. For this activity you will need a few people: one to call out animal names, and the others to be migrating animals.


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Leopard Mask

Make your own leopard mask complete with whiskers and spots.

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Make your own leopard mask complete with whiskers and spots.


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To Dye For!

Has your old T-shirt seen better days? No need to let it die. Dye it instead! Next time your family boils colorful veggies, don’t dump the water. Use it to brew natural dyes the way the colonists and pioneers did. Then use the dyes to jazz up your shirt and give it new life.

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Has your old T-shirt seen better days? No need to let it die. Dye it instead! Next time your family boils colorful veggies, don’t dump the water. Use it to brew natural dyes the way the colonists and pioneers did. Then use the dyes to jazz up your shirt and give it new life.

Note that this activity requires using a stove to boil water, so have an adult help you.


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