April 16

Tutorial: Needle Felted Solar System Mobile

Needle Felted Solar System

I’ve never actually tried needle felting myself, but this is such a wonderful use of the craft that I am definitely going to give it a go sometime. Check out this Needle Felted Solar System Mobile over on It’s a Knit House.

There’s a set of instructions for making your own Needle Felted Solar System Mobile. Although obviously, it’s not quite to scale. If you made a 2 inch diammeter version of the Earth in a scale model, the Sun would have to be 18 feet across, and you’d need 22 miles to fit the whole thing in, including orbits (or 29 miles if you want to include Pluto).

But for illustrative purposes this is an awesome geeky science craft! I want one.

March 22

Friday Round-Up: Give ’em STEAM

Some of you may have heard of the acronym STEM: Science Technology, Engineering and Math. A respectable, geeky term in it’s own right, but probably a little stuffy for us over here at GeekCraft.

Recently, however, there has been a lot of talk about STEAM, which takes the stuffiness of STEM and adds an “A” for arts, injecting all sorts of coolness and excitement. In all seriousness, advocates of STEAM argue that arts provide school-aged children with a lot of skills valued in the world like design, problem solving, creativity, stick-to-it-ivness, etc., It is in that spirit of STEAM that I wanted to take this Friday round-up to focus on activities that you can do with young people in your life that promote this important intersection of art, science, engineering, and craft:

First up, just in time for those of you celebrating Easter, we’ve got egg geodes from Tinkerlabs. It’s some good chemistry (my favorite) and can lead to a nice conversation about geology. AND..and…it is colorful and fun.

egg geodes

 

 

 

 

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March 19

Three phases of cuteness

Three phases of cuteness

You never need an excuse to combine science and something cuddly! Javelin is a labrat during the day, but in the wee hours of the night, she likes to experiment with yarn and hooks. She has crafted an enormous collection of adorable amigurumi shaped as your favourite ball-and-stick molecule. I especially like the three phases of water, shown above. The tiny little scarf on the ice makes it just perfect!

Sadly, Javelin stopped taking commissions for a while, but her Etsy shop still has plenty of molecules in stock. Check it out if you’ve always wanted a pink piece of ethanol or your own carbondioxde! You can find even more cuteness at her Flickr.