WELCOME TO SCIENCE TOY MAKER

Mysterious, Kinetic, Noisy, Do-It-Yourself Science Projects that Entice Scientific Investigation

You have found the non-commercial site for people who like to roll up their sleeves and make science toys and projects. You won't find slick, well-designed web pages here--more like the digital equivalent of a messy workshop. If you poke around, though, you'll find good stuff. Science toy maker is a resource for inspired kids, parents, teachers, teenagers, home schoolers, science fair participants and citizen scientists everywhere.

All science toys and projects:

 

I KNOW! THE PICTURE QUALITY AND AUDIO OF THIS VIDEO ARE DREADFUL...
...but if you can look past that you will see Ben Shedd's Academy Award winning 1978 short documentary Flight of the Gossamer Condor about the MacCready family's working out of human-powered flight. And at 21:35 you can see the beginning of walkalong flight! More about walkalong gliders/air surfing here and more about the history of walkalong flight here.To get the beautifully remastered DVD directly from Ben, click here.

 


 

POP POP STEAM BOAT INNOVATION
Oregon teacher Mike Lampert's 9th grade students make candle-powered putt putt steam engine boats as part of a way to introduce energy concepts in a hands-on way. This student noticed the soot from the candle (caused by incomplete burning) on the bottom of the steam engine and developed a solution. I like this: a teacher encouraging hands-on learning (not just teaching to standardized tests); some students thinking beyond the assignment. I think this young person has a bright future. More examples here. There are instructions for a simpler design for making the steam engines on the way in a month or two.

NEWS NOTE: AFTER A QUARTER CENTURY SCIENCETOYMAKER IS NO LONGER TEACHING
As much as I loved teaching, it’s time to let younger teachers--who can deal with bureaucracy and still have enough energy left to engage their students—to take charge. I’ll get my teaching fix from volunteering. And I hope at last to have the time to give this sadly neglected website the attention it needs. So check back from time to time and see what’s new and what's better.

SCIENCE TOYS ARE INTERNATIONAL! Click here to see which countries people have visited from. Over 160 different countries so far. Since the time of the Renaissance enthusiastic science has crossed national borders.

Updated: 12/16/14