Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Great STEM Shortage in America

If you watch TV you would think that our future star wage earners will be models, singers and top chefs. But in reality, scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians are the driving force in our American economy. So why do elementary schools (like ours) fail to prepare our kids for a future life in STEM? Read this info graphic. STEM Shortage
Created by: Online Engineering Degree

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 12, 2011 Rockets Demonstration

Come join me at the 4-H Center in Rhonert Park for a demonstration on building paper tube, compressed air rockets. All materials provided. Learn how to build your own air powered rocket launcher and more. Gliders and other rocket crafts too. 1-4 PM.

2011 4-H State Field Day

Photos from the 2011 4-H State Field Day in Davis, CA. We had a great event and huge turnout of people wanting to see rabbits and make paper tube rockets. Many thanks to all the Two Rock 4-H kids and families who assisted in the booths and answered questions all day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 Maker Faire

Started in 2006,  Maker Faire is the premier event for grassroots American innovation. As the World's Largest DIY Festival, this two-day family friendly Faire has something for everyone - a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness and a celebration of the Maker mindset. Zoe and the Bell family went to the Maker Faire and we had a blast - way too much to see in one day but we did our best.

In 2012, I'll encourage all 4-H SET kids to meet us down in San Mateo for the next Makers Faire!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

English vs. Scotts or Catapult vs. Trebuchet

Two Rock 4-H SET went back to medieval history to learn about two ferocious weapons - the catapult and the trebuchet. In keeping with our 2010-11 project theme, "Kid Powered Creations", our project group met at Hobbytown USA Petaluma and watched a short video about siege weapons. That geared us up for building our wood catapult and trebuchet kits we got from Pitsco Education. These kits were fantastic. The instructions were just enough to make everyone think about what they were building but not to hard to get done in an hour or so. The catapult may have been a bit easier to build, but the trebuchets had the advantage of range, easily launching their clay projectiles across the room. The kids all brought in some things to knock over and luckily no one was unintentionally hit with flying projectiles. Let the siege begin!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

4-H SET Rocket Project Blasts Off

Two Rock 4-H SET constructed two different types of rockets in December and January as a part of this years project theme "Kid Powered Creations". Our first project was air powered rockets. We used a mixture of home made supplies like cardboard tubes for rocket bodies, poster foam board for fins and ping pong balls for rocket noses. Our launchers were made from plastic PVC pipe and fittings, a sprinkler solenoid valve, two nine volt batteries and a foot pump to pressurize the air chamber.

After sorting out some problems with leaks and fittings, we ventured out in the pouring rain to press a button and launch our rockets. The kids and parent had a great time experimenting with how high they could launch their rocket. We found out that above 80-90 PSI on the air pump produced some interesting results - like exploding rockets!