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Science / Engineering challenges for kids.

Yokel

LE
On the subject of potato canons, this is the remains of one I built a few years ago.

I went a little overboard. It’s nearly 7ft long.

First time I used it, the BBQ lighter trigger exploded in my hand and it blew the screw cap clean off the end.

Some bad cuts and bruises to my hand and tinnitus for days. Very lucky not to have lost fingers.

Never found the potato. View attachment 526682View attachment 526683

Have you considered rebuilding it with less power, a shorter barrel, and aiming the spud at a metal grille target. FIre it using a lead. Wear ear defenders, safety eyewear, and ideally anti flash.

Collect the chips and fry them.
 
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Yokel

LE
As a kid I knew about transformers and turns ratios - so why not power something (lights?) via a transformer with low voltage AC at the input - you used to be able to buy unregulated and unrectified power supplies, but you can make one yourself (add RCD for extra safety). Get some sort of iron/steel core - any sort of small ring would do. Wind a few turns on the input side.

The secondary side - put turns on as required. More turns means more voltage for something like lights in series (if you have olde style incandescent bulbs), less turns means less voltage but more current - turn a motor on perhaps?

Caveat: I have not done this myself, so it might seem dull.
 

Yokel

LE
At the risk of making myself look like an ar$e twice within a few minutes, and considering the other thread about the model Sopwith Camel, why not put a mini ski jump (a la front end of CVS/QEC flight deck) and launching wooden things with wheels from them, and seeing how far you can make them go?

I promise no more daft ideas today.
 
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Christmas Eve afternoon I spent a fruitfull hour and a bit with eldest daughter, a small pile of 8mm steel offcuts a handful of 4mm rods, and a Bantam welder.
A natural it seems, ( a shame she has plans of a medical bent).
We will see how daughter two manages in the next day or two, then it’s tig Time!.
 

theinventor

War Hero
On the subject of potato canons, this is the remains of one I built a few years ago.

I went a little overboard. It’s nearly 7ft long.

First time I used it, the BBQ lighter trigger exploded in my hand and it blew the screw cap clean off the end.

Some bad cuts and bruises to my hand and tinnitus for days. Very lucky not to have lost fingers.

Never found the potato. View attachment 526682View attachment 526683
Anyone into their home inventing needs to follow Colin Furze on YouTube. His semi-auto potato cannon needed redesigning when someone pointed out it was probably a S5 firearm (over 2" barrel, way too many foot-pounds and capable of continuous firing)
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Christmas Eve afternoon I spent a fruitfull hour and a bit with eldest daughter, a small pile of 8mm steel offcuts a handful of 4mm rods, and a Bantam welder.
A natural it seems, ( a shame she has plans of a medical bent).
We will see how daughter two manages in the next day or two, then it’s tig Time!.

Plenty metal work in some fields of medicine

uniplanar_exfix-tibia.jpg
800wm.jpeg.jpg
18021.jpg
 
I taught my kid to bring beer from the fridge, he is 18 now, never been in trouble, never burned mice alive and starting a degree in nutrition.

Couldn’t get him in the services though, still trying to get my daughter in the RAN.
 
My eldest daughter has four boys aged under 10 (no, she isn't a Catlick and yes, she does have a TV) so I get the occasional "Daaaad . . . how do I entertain them (without taking them to yet another bloody army museum)".

I was scouting around for some free science project books online and found plenty.

Some here: science projects kids: free download. Ebooks library. On-line books store on Z-Library

And many more if you play around with the search criteria.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
We built a rocket.

Unfortunately it was slightly more powerful than expected.

Fucked off into the stratosphere never to be seen again. Not sure if the parachute deployed or not. Within 2 seconds it was well and truly gone and out of sight.

Cool while it lasted though. Fortunately the rockets themselves are quite cheap. Obviously the launchpad and everything is reusable so we’ll get another one and try again.

A754BEDA-F2C9-4D63-8B50-D80FB41A38A4.jpeg
 
just out of interest, was it a kit or a home brew rocket missile educational tool ?
 

theinventor

War Hero
We built a rocket.

Unfortunately it was slightly more powerful than expected.

Fucked off into the stratosphere never to be seen again. Not sure if the parachute deployed or not. Within 2 seconds it was well and truly gone and out of sight.

Cool while it lasted though. Fortunately the rockets themselves are quite cheap. Obviously the launchpad and everything is reusable so we’ll get another one and try again.

View attachment 551386
You want one of those gps trackers like for cats/dogs so you know where it ends up.
Or, for really educational, make one of these The Easiest Arduino High Altitude Balloon Data Logger
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
just out of interest, was it a kit or a home brew rocket missile educational tool ?

Estes Alpha III build your own from Amazon.

Took about an hour to build, just needed glue, a ruler and a knife.

The kit didn’t come with motors or wadding which you need to buy separately.

Now we have the launchpad, motors and spare wadding etc. we can just get another rocket. Loads of different types that’ll work in this launchpad and accept these motors. Cheapest I’ve seen so far is 8 quid.

Not really the end of the world when you lose them.
 
Some of the things I’ve built with kids include a full scale model of the spine (paper maché, wire etc), a hydraulically operated hand (syringes - no needles, tubes, more paper maché etc) and a neat, programmable vehicle from a Lego Mindstorms kit.
Lollipop sticks and PVA glue are good for construction projects - well unless you plan on teaching welding. Then you can go the whole hog and build a model of the Forth Rail bridge over your local stream
 

anglo

LE
We built a rocket.

Unfortunately it was slightly more powerful than expected.

Fucked off into the stratosphere never to be seen again. Not sure if the parachute deployed or not. Within 2 seconds it was well and truly gone and out of sight.

Cool while it lasted though. Fortunately the rockets themselves are quite cheap. Obviously the launchpad and everything is reusable so we’ll get another one and try again.

View attachment 551386
AARRRRR, it was you,
The fireman said, It was a small rocket that came through the roof,
set fire to the bed, the fire then spread to the gas cylinders stored in the spare bedroom,
the explosion that followed, blew the roof off, the end wall fell apart and the whole house
collapsed
Freck knows what my Landlord is going to say.
 
Estes Alpha III build your own from Amazon.

Took about an hour to build, just needed glue, a ruler and a knife.

The kit didn’t come with motors or wadding which you need to buy separately.

Now we have the launchpad, motors and spare wadding etc. we can just get another rocket. Loads of different types that’ll work in this launchpad and accept these motors. Cheapest I’ve seen so far is 8 quid.

Not really the end of the world when you lose them.
I got caught reading your post .
Nothing was said by her Ladyship, just a shaking of the head.
I take that as a yes, and have ordered one, got to fill the days somehow :-D
 
Christmas Eve afternoon I spent a fruitfull hour and a bit with eldest daughter, a small pile of 8mm steel offcuts a handful of 4mm rods, and a Bantam welder.
A natural it seems, ( a shame she has plans of a medical bent).
We will see how daughter two manages in the next day or two, then it’s tig Time!.
you could build a trebuchet...
 
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