Car combinatorics

Car combinatorics

I run a regular program at WPL called “Discover DIY” (formerly known as “Mini Makers”) for children aged 2-4. Each week I set up and run 1-2 new activities with the kids, interspersed with some story time.

Recently, I had an idea for a program for the kids where I could use up some scrap wood from my workshop. I would cut the wood up into regular-sized pieces, and give the kids instructions to make cars with them. I brought in some thin dowel to use as axles, some thick dowel pre-cut into thin strips and drilled with holes for wheels, and I brought in a power drill to make axle holes wherever the kids wanted with my help.

I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of the creations. These are kids aged 2-4, while they all have an idea of what a car is, it isn’t as cut-and-dry a definition as what an adult would have if you asked them to create a new car. Below is a sampling of the results of the kids’ work: Read more

Got to love it when a plan comes together

Got to love it when a plan comes together

On time and under budget to boot! Work tasked me with making five prize wheels. I estimated it’d cost $50 to do and got the go-ahead. Approximately it cost me:

  • $10 for the mdf to make the wheels
  • $6 for the dowel for the clicker
  • $10 for the hardware
  • $10 for the wood for the stands
  • Free! for the clicker (just a strip of plastic cut from a lettuce box)

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