Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our Little Inventor

After a highly successful kindergarten registration, we turned our attention to Issa's Science Fair. She has literally been working on her project for months. One thing I will say for her is she doesn't take the easy way out! When we started talking about project ideas, she decided she wanted to invent raiser shoes. The spelling is very important there. She wanted to design shoes that had built in stools. It's actually a pretty cool idea.

Daddy was all over this, and he wanted to be sure she started with the mechanics of raising things. So...she and I did some library research on simple machines, and she decided gears, pulleys, and levers were all viable options. From that point, she and Daddy started sketching. He even taught her how to use some simple computer drafting software and how to share her desktop via Skype so they would work on it when he was out of town. It's pretty amazing to watch your seven year old share a desktop.

She ultimately decided on scissor jacks, which she taught me are first-class levers, as the design of choice:
For the Fair, she decided to concentrate on the design process and a simple model of the mechanics, which was probably a good call. Popsicle sticks and toothpicks make a dandy model, and Daddy taught her to use a drill press so all of the holes would line up:
This almost gave me a panic attack.

She then had to sand the toothpicks to make them fit:
You can see the cool finished scissor jacks and poster at the fair:
She typed up everything she learned about simple machines and why she made the choices she made. She even included pictures of her building and some of her sketches:
Yes...one of the sketches in on a napkin. Daddy was so proud when she wanted to sketch an idea while we were out to lunch. I'm afraid he is geek-ifying her a bit.

We had a blast at the science fair. As always, making ice cream was the favorite event:
Mr. Ryan even came to join in the fun:
He was so excited to be photographed. Daddy has more practice pretending:
Issa and Daddy plan to build a real prototype this summer, but even if they don't this was an incredible experience for our little inventor, and we couldn't be more proud.

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