|Showing off our stomp rockets prior to launch|
Maker Camp started today and so my daughters (ages 6 and 10) participated with me as we built stomp rockets. It was educational and a lot of fun on a hot summer day. Two thumbs up from both girls and we'll probably check out future projects in the summer.
Participating in Maker Camp is pretty easy. It is online, free and something new every weekday for six weeks. The theme for Week 1 is "Makers in Motion". Friday of each week they have a special virtual field trip and in week 1 it is an inside look at how they make Google Treks and they state in their teaser that they will demonstrate how to make photospheres of your own neighborhood - something that I have been doing a lot of this summer with my Nexus 7 tablet.
|Building our stomp rockets for Maker Camp|
The first thing I did today was check out the Maker Camp website. I looked up the project for the day, which happened to be making a stomp rocket. (There is also a more advanced each project each day if you want to kick it up a notch!) I look looked up the supply list to see what we would need. We are currently out of town on vacation so most of the stuff I probably could have rounded up at our house but since I didn't want to tear apart my inlaws' house looking for items I did go out a buy a couple at the hardware store. Today's project basically required some type of rubber or plastic tubing, paper, tape and empty milk jug (a lot of people were also using empty two liter soda bottles).
Each day during Maker Camp they have a live Google Hangout to go with the project of the day. Today since the topic was rockets they had a live chat with Buzz Aldrin. We didn't see it live but did watch it YouTube about an hour after it was live. We watched it while we ate lunch. It was great because we were able to tell the girls a little bit about how the United States put men on the moon.
After we watched the hangout we looked at the instructions on the Maker Camp page to build the stomp rocket and then made some modifications based on the materials we had on hand. Let me just take a second here to say how important the ability to adapt is to the maker movement. We didn't have exactly the same materials as they listed on the Maker Camp site and that was great because I was able to discuss with my daughters about what we could substitute. When I looked at the Maker Camp Google+ page later in the day it was full of pictures of things that people did to modify the stated design. This is such an important skill that students learn from the maker movement in general - adapt and modify as needed. Life is not a kit with all the required parts included.
We built our rockets and talked about how they would fly, why we should add fins, how we could make it more durable and still not make it too heavy, etc. While we were building we had some great ideas about flight and rockets.
|Building a stomp rocket for Maker Camp|
I would consider the first day of Maker Camp a success for our family and we will probably check in again to do another project. Thanks to Google and Make Magazine for hosting such a great activity.