Inventions classes wrapped up this past Tuesday and the kids presented their contraptions and creations to parents! Everyone worked really hard on their project and had impressive end results, despite the fact that not everyone finished their project in its entirety.
How did the kids come up with their project idea for inventions classes? The inventions process starts with a a need to change or improve something, or having a wild idea to try something new. The kids were brainstorming lots of ideas, no matter how silly, big, small or crazy they seemed, which eventually became the conception for their project. To learn more about the invention process, you can download this pdf created by Jim.
LED Scoreboard by Adam
Adam made an electronic scoreboard that used 12 LEDs to indicate the score for the home team and the away team. He connected the lights to a battery and used rotary dial switches to operate it. At first, he had to do a lot of soldering, and some joints would break. He had to solder it all over again but he got better at it with practice at each class!
“Mistakes aren’t really bad cause you can learn not to do your mistake again”
Giant Scooter by Emilia and Maceo
Emilia and Maceo teamed up to make a giant scooter! They wanted an electric powered scooter that was big enough to fit them both at once, so they used recycled bike parts to create the wheels! In having to create such a massive contraption, they both learned about collaborating and how to work together as a team!
Their advice? Be patient when working in a group! Lesson Learned? Make sure when you’re drilling something, you put something underneath it so you don’t drill through the table.
Go-Kart by Blaede
Blaede designed his own go-kart! In the beginning first few classes, he built something new each week but it wasn’t until the later classes that he realized he wanted to make a go kart! He built a base for the cart and mounted a booster seat onto the base. He made sure to use some foam to create some comfortable padded seating. He also created a steering mechanism and has a plan to attach an electric motor in the future to make it run electrically!
RC Airplane by Alex
Alex started by building a radio controlled car: he modified some servos to continuously rotate so they could be used for wheels. He also built a remote controlled glider and a remote controlled airplane. For the airplane he used foam insulation as the main material for construction and used an online tool to calculate the centre of gravity to make sure it could fly. He also mounted 2 cameras on the wings (forward and reverse) and a nose pov camera!
Awesome Box by Elliot
Elliot created the box of awesome. He constructed the box out of wood with a motor to open it and close it and have a yellow glowing light inside. It was also designed to have an electronic circuit to make a drum roll sound as it’s opening and a cymbal crash once it’s fully open.
Glove Controlled Plasma Ball by Joe
Joe knew he wanted to control something awesome from a glove and decided on a plasma ball. There was a lot of soldering done in the beginning but the ball dropped to the floor and the solder joints broke. He had to do it all over again and do some trouble shooting with the volt meter (the circuit wasn’t working, reversed polarity and loose connections). The first time he wired it up- it took 2 hours, but the second time around it took 20 minutes! Joe made his glove remote controlled plasma ball with a 15 ft wire connection and he might even use it for a Halloween trick!
Lesson learned? “At first when I came here, I had no idea how any of this electric stuff worked, and I’m just like, how I am going to be able to make this? But over time with my mistakes, I realized it gets easier and it comes to me and sometimes making a mistake actually teaches you something – why something doesn’t work.”
We loved hosting the Inventions Class and helping everyone with their projects! Thank you to everyone who attended the class and worked so hard on their projects! At this time, there are no other after school programs running but we are hosting a Build Your Own Skateboard Workshop and summer camps soon!
We would like to extend an enormous thank you to Jim, Nadim and Ryan-our amazing volunteers who helped out throughout inventions classes!