Foam board pinball game

Foam board pinball game

Making a foam board pinball game


After building the basketball game, I saw that a pinball game was also a common build. The trick to building a pinball game was the mechanism in the bumpers, and the release trigger. The bumper mechanism is an interesting one since it requires the use of elastics, and to place them so that when you depress or push the trigger, a “L” shaped bumper is pushed by your motion. The harder you push the trigger, the harder it pushes on the bumper. But the question is, how do we get the bumper to its original position. This was the engineering part. I watched several Youtube videos in how others created their bumpers with each of them having a different type of mechanism but in the end, I used one and modified its design a little. I must say that the designing of the bumper and using the elastics really allowed me to understand the mechanism a lot deeper than just following the instructions on the Youtube video. I would consider trying this design process again once my daughters are little older so that they can appreciate the design and engineering process.  

The next part was the trigger release. How do we get the ball into the game. The trigger release is a bit simpler since you just need to have a pull trigger that is created by the elastic (like a slingshot), but instead of it shooting out, you have the release trigger hit a stop. There are other ways of creating the trigger, which makes this design challenge a fun one. 

Building this with my daughter allowed her to choose her favourite characters (yes, final fantasy VII heroes), and have her understand how the bumpers work. She might be too young to understand the exact engineer part, but for her to be exposed to the design, and visually see behind the foamboard of how it works is pretty amazing. 

In the future, I would like to have the exact dimensions and draw it on Inkscape or Illustrator and have them cut in a laser cutter. Can this be fully assembled just based on a template? Other variations that can be done is to use a 3D printer to print off various objects to incorporate into your pinball design. I think this is a great activity for early years students to create. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLyXSEzyotYhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpyfOMHiBVA

Building a toy castle

Building a toy castle


This toy castle was a fun build. My daughter was really into her Duplo block people, and Playmobil that she wanted a castle for them to have a home. The tricky part of the design was to build the columns at each of the corners and to cut triangles to provide a cone type structure. I could have measured out exact triangles with appropriate degrees, but I realized that “eye balling” a triangle can do the same effect.  After putting the castle together with hot glue, the lay out and texture can be simply added on from pictures from the internet. 

A trebuchet was also made in hopes of showing my daughter how a counter weight can be used to propel something in the air. My daughter spent a lot of time playing and adding items to the castle. 

Playing with the castle

Layered digestive system model

Layered digestive system model

In the digestive system unit, a very unique way of getting the students to see the organization of the organs and how compact it is to fit all the organs is to use a layered digestive system model.  In this project, the students have to generate a layered digestive system with any materials they want. The key for this is for the students to have the accurate depiction of the various organs, the order of the digestive flow, and the placement of each of the organs.

To get the students started with this project, every student should have been exposed to the various organs in our digestive system. To make their project layered, they have provided with 3-4 large sheets of paper, and have 1 of the sheets be the “exterior”, with the subsequent sheets of paper being the internal organs. They are to imagine that they are performing surgery, and that if they were to cut open and create an opening, what would they see? and what would be underneath?

This is a great anatomy video to show: Dr.Gunther – Digestion

Extension: Other students have used other materials such as using cardboard and velcro to show the 3 dimension aspects of the digestive system, while others made a cake.  Creativity for this project was great!