All projects


Air Surfing (AKA Walkalong Gliding) with very thin foam. Levitate even with only your hands. Looks like magic, but what’s the science?


Wind-up Dragonfly Helicopters fly higher than the tallest trees. There is a simple version and a high-performance version.


Make a Hot Air Balloon from a plastic bag.


The Ponyo Type Putt Putt Boat has a real candle powered steam engine made from a soda can and straws.


The Overhead Water Rocket Launcher uses pressurized air and water to launch 2-liter bottle rockets.


Call it a Vortex, whirlpool, tornado, hurricane, dust devil, water spout... whatever you call it, it happens a lot in nature.


Robot Hands work like our real hands... with strings attached.


Aside from the shear fun of it, making the Robot Voice 10 Cent Talk Box reveals how we turn raw sound from our vocal folds into speech.

It's not high-tech, but whistling on an Acorn Cap involves some cool science.

Quick and Easy Projects

The Movie Wheel and inventions like it ushered in the age of movies, then video. You can make pictures come alive.

Call it a Vortex, whirlpool, tornado, hurricane, dust devil, water spout... whatever you call it, it happens a lot in nature.

Cartesian Divers date back to the days of Galileo Galilee. It was so mysterious some people called it the "Devil's Diver."

What does the Snake Charmer's Duck Call have in common with saxophones and bagpipes?

What makes the Propeller Stick spin mysteriously when you rub it. This is an easy version of an old folk toy that's also a great science toy.

They are as old as the hills, but there is something cool about TOPS. This one is easy to make and it writes patterns in its track.

Alternately pull the strings and the Climbing Creature shimmies up. Yet another old folk toy that will never go out of date.

The Oscillating Woodpecker is another timeless folk toy, now easy enough for kids to make.


I don't know what you will catch with it, but this Moose Call demonstrates how acoustic string instruments amplify sound.

This Spinning Balloon hovers mysteriously in the air, but it's not filled with helium.

Got some old boom box, computer or any speakers? The Recycled Speakers Phone is an easy to make intercom.

You don't need a submarine to make a Periscope.


Easy Projects by Guest Contributors

Katrina shows us how to make one of those Grassy Head people.

Katrina shows us how to make a center of gravity Balancing Toy.

What shape rolls best? Katrina shows us how to make a Tumble Person.

Father and Daughter relate the classic Spinning Button project to Newton's Laws of Motion.

When heated to glowing and defracted to a spectrum, elements have a unique "fingerprint". Build your own Rainbow Spectro-Scope to find it out.

9 year old scientist Shane shows us how to make a simple Rubber Band Ball.

Intermediate Projects

Call it a Vortex, whirlpool, tornado, hurricane, dust devil, water spout... whatever you call it, it happens a lot in nature.


This Air Rocket goes higher than the tallest trees.


Here is a simpler water rocket launcher design that's easier to build and gives kids a tactile understanding of "pressure".

Wind-up Dragonfly helicopters fly higher than the tallest trees. Here is a simple version.

Advanced Projects

Advanced science toys  require the maturity of teenagers and adults to build. I built them with my classes of middle school students. There are usually a couple of hours of work time involved.


Air Surfing (AKA Walkalong Gliding) with very thin foam. Levitate even with only your hands. Looks like magic, but what’s the science?


The Ponyo Type Putt Putt Boat has a real candle powered steam engine made from a soda can and straws.


Wind-up Dragonfly Helicopters fly higher than the tallest trees. Here is a high-performance version.


The Overhead Water Rocket Launcher uses pressurized air and water to launch 2-liter bottle rockets.


Make a Hot Air Balloon from a plastic bag.


Robot Hands work like our real hands... with strings attached.

Is this simple electronic project a Lie Detector or not? Click for the truth.


Aside from the shear fun of it, making the Robot Voice 10 Cent Talk Box reveals how we turn raw sound from our vocal folds into speech.

It's not high-tech, but whistling on an Acorn Cap involves some cool science.

Make rubber band powered Airplanes from scratch, even the props. They fly great.

This is NOT A POPGUN and I'm not going to show you how to make it...unless you overwhelm my security by clicking.

 

I'd like to know how these projects go for you. I'm happy to answer questions about them. Feedback from you is an important way for me to know what works and what needs clarification.