Simple Machines, Hands-On Engineering & Science for Kids (series)

The simple machines lessons in these books are each supported by two to three relevant and captivating activities designed to engage children with engineering experiences and teach them to actively think and question the world around them. Participants learn to identify simple machines, use higher level thinking to make comparisons, ask and answer questions, make…

Habitat Boxes: Beach

  Habitat Boxes allow us to categorize collections, have a mini-nature experience at home, and share our experiences with others. We have boxes to collect natural material from beach, desert, forest, & river environments. We love these hands-on experiences because they require children to use many senses. They feel, smell, and see natural objects. This…

Simple Machines Class

We have successfully wrapped up our curriculum-rich five week Simple Machines class for elementary students.  Children and their parents met us once a week for an hour after school in an outdoor space at the Museum of Ventura County in downtown Ventura. Each class included an introduction to specific simple machines and multiple hands-on activities…

Phase 2 of the Rube Goldberg Event: Planning & Organization

Does the planning process seem too daunting? While the idea of planning for a Rube Goldberg Engineering Event might seem daunting, I hope this post will encourage you to take on this challenge. Additionally, in this post, I will break down the planning process and outline some manageable phases so that you will feel comfortable…

Worms + Compost Box

Overview Teachings kids about worms & composting complements lessons on soil science, animal habitat, and environmental studies.  Composting with worms is called vermicomposting. Worms will break down plant materials as they eat it, pass it through their body, and turn it into rich soil for a garden.  This process provides nutrients for other plants, and…

Lolly Stick Puzzle

Overview Preschool and Kindergarten participants will make their own puzzles by stamping or drawing on flat lolly sticks when they are arranged together, then pull them apart to reconstruct as a puzzle.  In this activity, participants use visualization, artistic, and problem solving skills. Materials Eight large, flat lolly sticks per participant Baggies to keep each…

Totems & Face Painting

Overview This lesson consists of two activities in which participants make connections between people, the earth, and animals.  Participants will use fine motor skills, practice art, learn how art represents real life, and make connections between past life and present day. Totem poles were a way for Native Americans living in the Pacific Northwest of…

Levers & Catapults

Objectives Levers, Class 1. Learn about simple machines specifically levers. Learn about and practice the scientific method (i.e, hypothesizing, control, independent variable and dependent variable & testing). Apply learning to a real-world catapult challenge. Ages – 6 and up Supplies Levers made of wood paint stirrers, cups and corks. The levels will vary in their…

Geoboards

Objectives Learn about basic geometric concepts such as shapes and angles. Practice counting. Learn about patterns and symmetry. Work on fine motor skills. Ages – 3 and up Supplies Wood panel/boards or varying sizes Nails (nail in 4 rows of 4 nails making sure they are evenly spaced across and down the wood board) Paint…