Design and Build a Helicopter

Design and Build a Helicopter

Make your own helicopter with one a piece of paper, paper clips and a pair of scissors!

 

Equipment

  • A4 sheet of paper
  • Scissors
  • Paper Clips

 

Method

  1. Take a piece of paper and make three cuts as shown in the illustration.
  2. Then fold the paper in on itself at the bottom half – use a paper clip to keep the sides together.
  3. Fold the two halves of the remaining paper away from each other, to form the helicopter blades.
  4. Stand carefully on a chair and drop your helicopter, making sure it stays upright as you let go!

 

THE CHALLENGE

To design and build a helicopter using only paper and paperclips.

 

Duck Cup

Duck Cup

How can you make a cup sound like a duck? All you need is a plastic cup, some string, a pair of scissors and a wet cloth!

 

Equipment

  • Plastic cup
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Something sharp to make a hole in the bottom of the cup
  • Wet cloth

 

Method

1. Carefully make a hole in the middle of the bottom of the plastic cup
2. Cut some string and feed it through the hole
3. Tie a large knot at the end of the string
4. Run a wet cloth down the length of the string. What do you hear? Repeat this with just a piece of string with no cup on the end. Do you notice a difference?

 

The Science

The wet cloth creates friction on the string which produces a vibration. You can hear a faint squeak on the string with no cup on the end. When you add the cup, this amplifies the noise, creating a much louder sound.

 

Health and Safety

If the children are making their own, they should use children’s safety scissors.

 

Egg Drop Challenge

Egg Drop Challenge

Can you protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a height onto the ground. Take on our egg drop challenge!

 

Equipment

  • Raw Egg
  • Selection of common household materials including cardboard, string, plastic bags, bubble wrap, newspapers etc.

 

Method

The idea is to protect the egg from breaking by either making a parachute or some sort of protective casing (or both!) You can then test it by dropping the egg from a height such as an upstairs window.

Using common household materials, you can either cover your egg or construct a parachute or build a structure around your egg in order to absorb the impact from the ground so that the egg does not break when it hits the floor.

 

The challenge

To design and construct a protective casing in order to protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a height (say from an upstairs window) onto the ground.

 

Health and Safety

Please ensure that there is no-one in the ‘dropping zone’.

Care must be taken when dropping the egg from a height, particularly off a chair or from an upstairs window – please ask an adult to do this for you.

 

Fake Snow

Fake Snow

Want to have snow all year round? Make some fake snow and watch it grow!

 

Equipment

  • 1 teaspoon of ‘Fake Snow’
  • Pipette
  • Water

 

Method

1. Place a teaspoon of ‘Fake Snow’ in your hand
2. Add a pipette full of water onto the top of the snow
3. Watch what happens
4. Add some more water and watch what happens

 

The science

The ‘fake snow’ is actually a super-absorbent polymer (or plastic) this is the same powder that is found in nappies. When water is added, the individual clusters internally hydrate and expand, forming small, fluffy clusters that do not cling to surrounding clusters and so appears as a powdery snow. Fake Snow will expand to 100 times its original size.

 

Health and Safety

Ensure that the children do not eat the ‘Fake Snow’
Check for allergies when handling the ‘Fake Snow’ and if necessary, wear non-latex gloves.
Encourage the children to wash their hands after handling the material.
Do not dispose of the material down the sink.

 

Flubber

Flubber

Make your own flubber and find out if it bounces back into shape after you stretch it out. Does it bounce on the table?

 

Equipment

  • Labcoats or protective clothing (1 per child)
  • Non-latex gloves (for children with sensitive skin)
  • Disposable plastic cups (1 per child)
  • PVA Glue (Craft Planet is best) 1 tablespoon per child
  • Coloured paint
  • 4% Borax solution (approx. 3mls per child)
  • Pipettes
  • Wooden tongue depressors (1 per child)
  • Safety glasses (1 pair per child)

 

Method

  1. Pour 1 x tablespoon (2 lines from bottom of cup) of PVA glue into a
    plastic cup/beaker
  2. Add one or two drops of paint to the glue. (It’s important to not add too much paint, or the mixture will be too runny and will not make good slime)
  3. Mix the glue and paint together using a wooden stirrer
  4. Workshop leader (and not the children) should now add 3mls of 4% borax solution (using a pipette)
  5. Using a wooden tongue depressor, carefully mix the borax into the glue-paint mixture until the mixture turns thick and jelly-like – you will have to spend a few minutes doing this.
  6. Take your flubber out of your cup. Squeeze/roll the flubber in your hands for 2 minutes. The warmth of your hands will make it more pliable
  7. See how well it stretches. If you pull it apart, does it squash back together? How well does it bounce on the table?

 

The science

The glue is a long-chained polymer (Poly Vinyl Acetate), meaning it is a set of molecules that are linked together in a long series. By adding the Borax mixture that consists of Borate ion and water molecules, these long chains of polymers (glue) can be linked together, forming a kind of matrix. The bond between these polymers in this matrix is not very strong, which explains why the flubber is bendable and stretchable.

 

Health and Safety

Powdered Borax may be a risk to pregnant women. Please check online material hazard sheets for Borax prior to its use. Borax can be an irritant in liquid form so please ensure any children with sensitive skin are wearing gloves. To protect clothing and eyes from any splashes, all children should wear lab coats and safety glasses.