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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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 the way. This method of walking doesn’t just save energy, it looks more natural too. Here is one way of. . . MORE


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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 and feet might be the difference, so when he was around 10 years old, he invented swim paddles. Now you have a. . . MORE


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Alka-Seltzer Rocket

Make your own Alka-Seltzer rocket!


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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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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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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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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 slices of bread. What happens when you place them in different environments?

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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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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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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 energy—and your car moves. Try different sizes of rubber bands to see the difference in output.


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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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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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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 of the plants that grow in this unique ecosystem. A terrarium made from a soda bottle works like the cloud. . . MORE


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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 thing.


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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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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 build your own shake table and then try to create structures that can withstand the force of moving earth. . . MORE


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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 the carton with an equal force.


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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 Nebuchadnezzar had the Hanging Gardens built to cheer her up and to remind her of her homeland.


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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 wind and water.


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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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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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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 unsolvable problem. No one knows exactly what the Gordian Knot looked like. But you can make a knot called a Turk’s. . . MORE


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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 the year.

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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 needle and supervise as you use it. Connect the straws tightly. They should be rigid, not loose. it is helpful if. . . MORE


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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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Make a Cardboard Arcade Game

In 2011, nine­-year­-old Caine Monroy built working cardboard versions of his favorite arcade games in his dad’s auto parts shop, including a basketball toss and a tabletop soccer game with plastic army men. A customer named Nirvan Mullick liked Caine’s Arcade so much, he invited lots of people to come and play. Mullick also made a short documentary about Caine’s Arcade, and Caine. . . MORE


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Marshmallow Tower

Try the Marshmallow Challenge, a fun and quick design challenge that thousands of people have attempted.


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Burning Fossil Fuels

Burning fossil fuels releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. Large quantities of carbon dioxide are linked to global climate change. Humans release on average annually about 64 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is like releasing 3.2 trillion watermelons into the sky every year. Since greenhouse gases are invisible, colorless, and. . . MORE


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Backyard Bioengineering

Bioengineering has been around for a long time. People look to nature to design products that fit certain needs. We can also simply observe nature and see how it works. Inspiration can strike and you might be able to think of a way to improve an existing design.


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Measure the Movement of Plates

You’ll need to have a lot of patience for this project. If you stick with it, you’ll have a great understanding of how the continents move! Ask an adult to help you find a location where it is safe and acceptable to use pins that will remain undisturbed for at least a month. You don’t want to use a nice wall in the house!


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