Friday, February 25, 2011

Making the Kinetic Sculpture Move

Today, Faryn and I made a kinetic sculpture, which is one of the DESIGN SQUAD challenges. It took a lot of brain power, but we somehow managed to make a sculpture that only somewhat failed.

We started out not knowing how in the world we could make something that could spin by just blowing on it. At first, we had an idea with pipe cleaners until Faryn had one of her famous ideas and we decided to use paper cups. It didn't look so pretty, but it worked. Also, it took a lot of time and effort. Typically, challenges that look easy to make are not so easy!

At first I thought maybe we should cut out a swirly type pattern out of colored paper, but Faryn had an idea that we could maybe use the metal washers to hold up something that could spin with the power of wind. We tried to connect the paper cups to the metal washers, but it just wouldn't stick. Then we tried colored beads around two centimeters long to attach the washers to and, well let's just say they worked and our sculpture includes colorful beads.

Design Squad is made up of two engineers named Judy and Adam (see photo to the right) who help kids create their dreams through engineering. On their website at PBS Kids, Judy and Adam have lots of different challenges that you can try and plenty of videos for you to watch. You can read about The Hillwood Herald interview with Judy and Adam here.

You can watch the latest episode of DESIGN SQUAD on the website. Also, don't missing seeing Judy and Adam in person at the nearby Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of Berkeley.
  • WHAT: Meet Design Squad Nation hosts Judy and Adam, watch sneak peeks of new episodes, and try engineering challenges inspired by the show!  
  • WHEN: Saturday, February 26th  from 11:00 am-4:00 pm 
  • WHERE: Lawrence Hall of Science 
For more information, visit

Photo credits: PBS Kids (top and bottom photos), The Hillwood Herald (middle photo)

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