In order for cars to move, the wheel cannot be glued to the car. Have learners create an axle that will allow the wheels to move freely. Here is one example, where wheels are attached to a toothpick, and the toothpick is set inside a straw. In this way, the car can be glued to the straw and the toothpick and wheels can move freely. The wheels will also prohibit the toothpick from falling out. This is just one of many ways to engineer your car to race!
Visitors were invited to use recycled materials to invent their own game! We provide learners with the standard recyclables listed above, however, we highlight materials that might be useful for game pieces or game boards. Brads are very useful to create spinners, and Sharpies allow learners to color code their game. Visitors can recreate a favorite game such as Chutes and Ladders, Guess Who, Twister, Pinball, Candyland, and Go Fish, or they can create their own board game, puzzle, maze, ball toss and more. Visitors should be encouraged to think about the rules of their game, or write them down. It is helpful for visitors to see examples of game inventions and recreations, however, encourage them to be creative!
In the workshop, an arcade is in the making. Large scale games are produced out of recycled materials, cardboard and wood. Visitors assist in making these games come to life, and are able to add their own spin. A skee-ball machine is created out of large sheets of cardboard, cardboard tubes, masking tape, wood beams and wooden balls. This structure may be inventive, but kinetic sculptures often need repair. A foosball table is created with large pieces of wood and cardboard as the base. Visitors assist in drilling the structor, as well as creating players and the playing field. Large wooden rods are used for handles, and screws are inserted into these rods to make sure a player doesn't poke their opponent. A scoreboard is even made to make sure no one is cheating!
This week was water week, brought to you by our sponsor, EQT, an energy company in Pittsburgh. This carnival game was inspired by water week. It is a ring toss game simply made from plastic jars, orange beads and buttons, and sliced pvc pipe. The aim of the game is to toss a pvc ring into a jar with a "fish." You get 5 tosses. If you throw your ring into a jar with a button, you lose a point.
Other games that were created in the workshop were mini Corn Hole, giant cardboard Jenga, Plinko, and the "Taco Bell Coin Game."
Recycled sculpture flowers and gardens is a favorite at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. This activity in particular tends to be much more colorful than most, considering our main goal is "making," not aesthetic. However, this activity is an exception. From tissue paper flowers and pom poms, to recycled screen print master pieces, you can create a plethora of flowers in all shapes and sizes. Have visitors contribute to a communal garden, or make your own miniature terrarium. Providing examples and sharing options to learners will spark their imagination.
Stomp rockets are made from recycled water bottles, a straw, tape and paper. First you must wrap a small piece of paper around a straw to measure the width of your rocket. This piece of paper becomes the base of your rocket. Leave the bottom side open so that is can be mounted onto the straw, and close the top with a cone like shape. Make sure this cap is secure so no air flows through. You can also add fins at the base of the rocket. Tape your straw to the opening of a bottle tightly to enclose air. Set your rocket on the straw, and squeeze or stomp to watch it fly!