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!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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?


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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 credit and then not being able to pay their bills.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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 for the glass armonica? At a musical performance in London, the performer’s instruments were wineglasses of. . . MORE


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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?


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Alka-Seltzer Rocket

Make your own Alka-Seltzer rocket!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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?

. . . MORE

Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.

. . . MORE

Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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 it is level.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Night Watch

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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 jack.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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 there was no gravity the planets would simply spin off into space like bumper cars. Imagine that!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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!


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Marshmallow Tower

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


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

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.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

How Light Travels Experiment

Scientists know that light travels very quickly. In this experiment, you will discover if light really does travel in a straight line.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Through the Years

Some of the inventions we use today existed long ago, but in completely different forms. The telephone that Alexander Graham Bell patented in 1876, for example, looks much different from the smartphone you might carry in your pocket today. In this activity, you will research a product and create a timeline showing the development of that product from its earliest iteration to its current. . . MORE


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Makerspace Journal

Both engineers and scientists keep track of many things. They write down observations about what they see around them and questions they have as they work on projects. Scientists record the steps they take each time they work on a scientific project while engineers write down the changes they make to their inventions. Create a special journal or notebook to help you keep track of the. . . MORE


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Simple Bridges from Ancient Times

Bridges are not easy to construct. With all of the different types of support, it is important to pick the correct one for the area. Let’s start with some paper models to get an idea of which bridge is the strongest.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Engineer a Beaver Dam

Beavers are amazing engineers. Do you think that you can build a dam as well as a beaver? This is your chance to try. Design, create, and test your own model of a beaver dam.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Power Paper

Think about some words you might associate with paper, such as thin or rip, and then think of the words you might associate with a textbook, such as heavy. Do you think that sheets of paper could support the weight of one of your textbooks? Why or why not?


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF