My grade school days are so far behind me, I remember very little about any sort of science experiments. I vaguely recall something about adding food coloring to water to turn white carnations different colors. BOR-ING. If I had Andrew Gatt for a teacher, I think I would have some pretty epic science memories.
As the lower school science specialist as a school in Raleigh, North Carolina, Andrew started building paper roller coasters in the late 90s as an activity in his 5th grade classroom. He continued refining his designs over the years, and started making presentations of his designs at teacher conventions and eventually started selling the templates and directions. These days, he teaches science to 7th and 8th graders and uses the templates with his 7th graders each fall. The templates are available on his website.
Homeschoolers and science aficionados rejoice! Andrew offers three lesson plans to use with the paper roller coasters, which are available for free download on his website, PaperRollerCoasters.com. “The lesson plans show how paper roller coasters can be used to teach about speed, acceleration, potential energy, and kinetic energy,” says Andrew. “It’s also a great structural engineering lesson in which students have to build a sturdy structure that will hold up the tracks.”
See videos of paper roller coasters in action on Andrew’s YouTube channel!
Up to the challenge of building your own coaster? We’d love to hear about your efforts and results – feel free to share a link to your creation in the comments below! Go forth now and SCIENCE!
Links of Interest:
Got some baby geekcrafting in your future? Check out these stellar space ornaments by Laura Chau! Hung all together, I think they would make a great mobile for a baby’s nursery. Or leave them as individual projects to hang on a space-themed tree for the holidays.
Laura is also a prodigious designer of other knit wonders – check her out on Ravelry, too.
Zombie Gingerbread Man Ornament by My Zombie Friends on Etsy, credit Adrienne Jones.
To combat holiday stress, I like to decorate with as much geek-tastic awesomeness as I can create and find. Things like zombie gingerbread men, Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtle ornaments, and 8-bit fireplaces always make me smile. Why not have a geeky holiday this year and let Geek Crafts give you a head start with some fun, easy tutorials and even a gift idea or two.
For the turtle lover, you’ve got to take a look at The Whoot’s DIY Ninja Turtles. My nephews love the Turtles, and this is the sort of craft you could do with little boys (and plenty of supervision!).
My nephews are also in love with the Minions. This awesome DIY features other great fandom character ideas, like Sesame Street and Monsters Inc too.
These Muppet ornaments are super easy to make too, thanks to the great tutorial from Meg on Happy Looks Good on You. These little cuties were inspired by her original tutorial on making superhero ornaments.
Sarah Dees from FrugalFun4Boys.com has some fun Lego ornament ideas (good for girls too!).
Geeky Decor Fun
Kat and Cam from Our Nerd Home has a some great ideas for decorating the home for the holidays, including this Wreath DIY made from foam core! I bet craft foam would work great too. Plus, you could totally customize this to all of your own favorite fandom images.
I have to share their 8-bit fireplace DIY too. This is too awesome for words, and incredibly easy to do. It’s warm and cozy, don’t you think?
This last decor DIY is not for the faint of heart, but this Embroidery tutorial from Jessica (from Miniature Rhino) on Design Sponge takes you step-by-step through making this beautiful embroidered constellation table runner. Perhaps not strictly a holiday theme, I think it lends itself well to any winter themed decor you’ve got going on in your home.
Hello All! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving (or a great Thursday, if you’re outside the US). If you’re looking for movies to go see this weekend, I highly recommend Big Hero 6. It’s adorable and full of science! Plus, Baymax, who is the lovable healthcare robot, is a truly great character.
Part of Baymax’s programming is to be huggable and caring, and these crafts can help you make your very own robot healthcare companion!
First, for all you crochet lovers, Kamilla has posted an accurate and adorable crochet pattern on her blog, krawka.blogspot.com.
If you’re looking for a quick and cute project, Carolina from 30minutecrafts.com has instructions for a Baymax Bandage Tin, for those accident-prone people in your life, or those who just like to be prepared. (It’d make a clever stocking stuffer as well!)
And lastly, Jessica has posted her version of a Baymax plushie, filled with rice so you can heat him up to help with aches and pains. You can buy the plushie for $45 from her etsy store, or you can follow the plushie tutorial made by Hiro Hamada and make your own!
Baymax Rice Plushie
Pattern for Baymax Plushie
I hope you are satisfied with your Geek Crafts today, and that you all have a wonderful and geeky day!
Wow, I thought I was going to go all Kanye West for a second…“Yo ‘Geeks Are Sexy,’ I’m really happy for you…I’ll let you finish. But Chris Lee has one of the biggest Greek Crafts of all time! One of the biggest crafts of all time! I’m sorry.”
Chris Lee, known as the Disco Trooper, and his friends are on a quest to build the ultimate Star Wars prop: a 1:1 scale ESB/ANH hybrid Millennium Falcon with complete, correctly scaled interior. According to their site, Full Scale Falcon, they used the DK Ultimate Collection blueprints as a guide and calculated the final outer dimensions of the structure.
Length: 114 feet
Beam (docking ring to docking ring): 81.5 feet
Height to top of body (not counting quad-laser turret): 24.9 feet
Height to top of dish: 30.9 feet
Clearance: ground to landing gear bay level: 7.8 feet
Clearance: ground to outside bottom of cockpit tube: 13 feet
The actual construction started in 2013. If you go through the blog, there are a ton of photos as the work is being done. The latest work is the cock pit button panels.
Karen Nyberg works for NASA as a flight engineer, and is currently floating around the International Space Station, orbiting the Earth every 91-and-a-bit minutes at an altitude of around 380 km. She became the 50th woman to ever go into space in 2008 when she was mission specialist on board Space Shuttle Discovery.
But you know what makes Karen so awesome? She is a crafter. And last week Karen crafted a toy dinosaur in SPACE! It doesn’t get much more geek-crafty than that.
Karen says, “I made this dinosaur for my son last Sunday, September 22. It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers found here on the International Space Station. It is lightly stuffed with scraps from a used t-shirt.” So not only is this a fun craft, but it’s also some pretty good upcycling too!
Make sure you check out Karen’s Pinterest page, where there are some awesome photos from and on board the ISS. You can also follow her on Twitter as @AstroKarenN.