Birthdays for 9 & 10

Eli Whitney Museum

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Drawing Machine

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Build a remarkable drawing machine from 1913 adapted by Senior Apprentice Angus Macmullen and Educator Josh Revkin. Since their first adaptation, it's been revised three more times. We will teach you some ways to program it. Then you will go on to invent your own programs. The possibilities are infinite. Add color and shadows.

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Machine Design: The Vocabulary of Motion

Choreographing Action
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A basic vocabulary of movements controls every mechanical device. Leonardo daVinci identified and drew the most important of these. Learn one of three classic arrangements to control the direction, speed and shape of movement. Invent an artful application for your device. Then, connect yours to someone else's machine and let them work together with a set or series of pulleys to combine movement and meaning.

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Analog Minecraft

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Create your own world of Minecraft in three dimensions with our building blocks and glue. Make a character you choose (Steve? Creeper? Enderman?) to keep you company you when you're playing online.

Common Sense Media rates Minecraft as a game for 8 years old and up.

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Pinball Machine

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A popular project that teaches game design (beginnings, middles and ends), logic (rewards for difficulty), marble movement (caroms, momentum) and creative design (good games must still attract players.) A rare exploration of the work of play.

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The Marble Tree

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Marbles have amused and educated children’s hands for thousands of years. These spheres of stone, clay and glass invite play and experiment. Leonardo, Galileo, Newton and Ada Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace, used marbles to explain how the world works.

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Dancing Robots

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Build a robot, add a motor and an eccentric wheel (or heart or star), a battery and wire it up. Your robot will dance and vibrate to any tune you call. Build a traditional robot, a Stormtrooper a Supergirl or maybe even Silver Surfer robot. You get to choose.

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Birthday Dynabrolly

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Looking at wave forms at different speeds and the effect of weight, air friction and gravity. As the speed changes, see the different number of waves traveling around the edge of the cloth.

Or, just enjoy the sheer pleasure of watching a dancer twirl about, a spaceship spin, Elsa or Olaf skate on ice, or Dervishes spin and spin and spin.

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Robot Drum Unicorn or Horse

Construct a robot. Hear the logic of Leonardo's mind at work as he invents the first modern robot, an automatic drum machine whose rhythms can be reprogrammed flexibly and whose tempos adjust automatically.

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Ecosystems:Magnetic Pendulum

Ecosystems Magnetic Pendulum

All creatures live in a web of resources that support or suppress their growth. Create a dynamic model of an insect’s or bird’s world. Suspend a magnetized creature on a pendulum. Add food and shelter (with magnets) that attract the creature and predators and hazards that repel it. The creature navigates a complex and fascinating path.

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Reversing Switch & Buggy

Reversing Switch Buggy

A battery's current flows in one direction. Clever arrangement of switches can reverse that direction. Construct a controller with a battery, motor and ultralight buggy which can go forward or backward. Learn wiring logic, precision, and trouble shooting.

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Shooting Castle Bank

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Build a castle tower to protect your gold.

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Balance / Folk Toys

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Immigrants brought to America traditions of crafting simple playthings out of common materials. These toys develop dexterity and inventiveness. Two toys from the catalog of classics. Understand Force and Motion or connect to Colonial curriculum or the geography of play. Yesterday's toys for today's kids – and they still evoke wonder. Nothing and everything is new.

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Pirate Ship 2020

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Ahoy There Matey!

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Balancing Circus

Homage to Calder

The Circus explores the art and science of balance, forces, center or gravity and performance. Conceived with a nod to artist /engineer Sandy Calder, each circus tests classic experiments at work.

Expands STC curriculum.

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Reversing Turning Car

Start with a chassis. Add wheels, a motor and a controller. They all look alike. But then you add your own touches. Make it a truck, a car, a go-cart, a van.

Then drive it forward and backward. Turn it left and right with a reversing switch you've built. And have a ball.

For 8 year olds and up.

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Explore the ancient and challenging mechanics of catapults. Rubber bands power this model. Safe for people and places when used with the ping pong ball provided. Make Happy Birds and fling them with accuracy.

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Star Trek Enterprise Birthday

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Fifty years ago, a remarkable epic began. The Starship Enterprise and her crew began to explore Space…the Final Frontier. Unlike many explorers, her mission sought neither conquest nor treasure. Her crew sought out unknown civilizations across the galaxy. A Prime Directive promised that no starship would interfere with the development of any civilization it encountered. The challenge and wisdom of that law shaped the Enterprise's many adventures and accounts for her ongoing respect and fame. Construct and captain a model Enterprise Class starship.

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