Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Engineering Day Combined Activity

Can you say NeRD!
I KNOW I am a nerd.  Frankly, I am breeding nerds here in Sew*CakeMaker land.

It is only the natural course of things for me to introduce nerdiness to my church youth group ;0}

We asked the girls what they wanted to do for all of our combined Young Women/Young Men activities this year.  One suggestion they all loved was a paper airplane contest.  

Our activity time is an hour and a half...

How on EArtH do you get making paper airplanes last for an hour and a half  with forty kids?!?

This is the point where I remembered that February is National Engineering Month!  With the leader of the nerds being my Engineer husband and all {I really to love me a good nerd!}
having an Engineering Day Combined Activity was the only logical choice.

The activity is tonight, so I don't have any pictures, but I figured I would post my resources while my kids are still sleeping.

First, here are some instructions for the worlds best paper airplane found HERE!
I just copied all of the instructions and pasted them to sheets so that I can take them to the activity.  
Now you can have instructions-to-go too :0)

We plan to have a ream of copy paper and let the kids try a couple styles, then also have some large engineering size sheets or 11x17 so they can see what the same planes can do in a bigger model.
My Nerd sensors are overflowing with excitement!

After searching the internet a long while I finally found a site that had the building-type activity I was looking for.  They also have several ideas and resources for kid-based engineering activities.  If you get a little extra time, you should definitely check out Fun Engineering Activities For Kids on eHow.

Many years ago we had some team building activity where we were split into groups and all given the same supplies of something like sheets of paper, a certain length of tape, paperclips, straws and whatever else.  We had 15 minutes to build the tallest tower we could that would withstand force.  I was looking for a clear set of instructions for that kind of activity and found something similar on Fun Engineering Activities For Kids on eHow.

Here is what they say to do:

Build a Sturdy Structure

  • Several kids, or groups of kids, can take a structural engineering challenge proposed by The goal is to raise a book at least 12 inches off the ground for 30 seconds. The challenge is that they have to do it with 10 sheets of ordinary copy paper and 10 inches of masking tape. Throw in a ruler and a pair of scissors, and let them get to work. The student, or students, who come up with the most effective design within the time limit and the materials budget win.
    I basically loved every activity on the page {especially the roller coaster activity} so go check it out!

    As for my tower building activity, I found a great list of instructions HERE!
    They suggest giving each group a bag containing different supplies than the other groups.  The idea would be that eventually they would try to share or trade with the other groups.  
    LOve iT!
    We are going to make Penny Bridges too.  I found a fabulous source HERE.  You can simply print out that web page and take it along.

    Rocket Launchers
    The instructions presented HERE look like the rocket launchers my YW Secretary is bringing.  The kids will make their rockets from report covers and foam then launch them in the gym to see who's rocket goes the farthest.  This looks totally fun and I can imagine it being a real hit with the youth.
    If you are just looking for something to do with your kids over spring break, any of these activities would be so fun AND secretly make your kids learn without letting them know.
    Now I need to go find this lunchbox ;0)
    Oh, and I have any documents for these projects HERE with dropbox.
    Happy Nerding!


  1. "I KNOW I am a nerd. Frankly, I am breading nerds here in Sew*CakeMaker land."

    Will you be frying or baking your breaded nerds? :P

    1. Thank you! Fixed :0) Feel free to let me know about typos any time!!!



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