STEM videos

Check out this page for some short videos to accompany the STEM experiments!

5/11/2020 – using this as a VERY ROUGH DRAFT page of ideas for STEM summer camp… will be cleaned up!

Egg Drop

This is a fun but simple experiment to learn about packaging… but can also be extended to get into potential energy, kinetic energy, conservation of momentum, and impulse.

Download a copy of the experiment PDF here!

build a cardboard boat

Want to learn more about buoyancy? Apply what you learned to build a cardboard boat? Check out this video to see one example of what is possible!

Experiment PDF coming soon… will be linked below.

Mini Catapult experiment

Want a fun experiment that teaches about Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy? Try this catapult experiment, and test different types and weights of projectiles. Can you spot a trend? 

Don’t have a catapult? No problem. Build a cardboard catapult using my instructions on the Putney’s Projects page… also included just below

Experiment PDF coming soon… will be linked below. See making instructions in the section below.

Build a Cardboard Catapult

Catapults are great for learning about transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy. And they’re fun to test. But, kits can be hard to find. So, here’s your chance to channel your inner MacGyver and build one from cardboard and duct tape… and a few other things: wood paint stir stick, rubber-band, pencil, small plastic condiment cup or yogurt cup, some double-sticky adhesive, and a hook. If you use 3M Command damage-free mini hooks, you can use the adhesive tabs included.

6/2/2020 – updated with alternate instructions for making your catapult if you have larger pieces of cardboard to work with.

Check out the video to watch it launch!

For detailed instructions on how to build one, check out the second video below, left!

Butterfly Flight... and how to decorate a napoleon (or other dessert)

Butterflies got me into aerodynamics. Ever watch a monarch emerge from its chrysalis and take first flight? Their wings expand by over 300% within 5 minutes, and harden for first flight within 1-3 hours.

Guess what? Hummingbird wings make a figure 8 pattern, just like swimmers do when treading water. Know what this means? We can use a liquid and some food coloring to simulate a wind tunnel to study different types of flow.

What’s even more fun? Using what you learn to decorate a cake, pastry or pudding. Check out this video to see how!

Experiment PDF coming soon… will be linked below.

How does mechanical advantage really work? Build a simple mechanical calculator using a yardstick, cardboard fulcrum, and some play dough. (Recipe included to make your own… you just need flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, water, and food coloring–optional).

Play MacGyver... Rolling Pin Substitute

Functional analysis is another name I use for playing MacGyver... that is, solving a problem with what you have on hand.

1) Define your problem… what do you need to accomplish?  
2) Develop criteria… this will help you come up with potential options. Do you need something flexible? Long and bendy? Round and rigid? Cleanable?
3) Find options. What do you have on hand that could work?   
4) Test & evaluate!

Experiment PDF coming soon, will be linked below.

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