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Stocking Stuffers for the Budding Engineer

Dec 22, 2013   |   by Kirsten Mabry

Dartmouth engineering professor Vicki May—NH's 2013 Professor of the Year—gives ideas for inexpensive stocking stuffers that encourage kids to brainstorm, solve problems, and be creative and curious:

Duct tape for kids

  • Duct tape: Comes in a wide range of colors and has the ability to bind almost anything. Include a few empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls to get them started.
  • Simple solar cooker: Learn about solar power by making Sun s'mores! See instructions from NASA.
  • Spinning tops: Cardboard and washers combine to demonstrate rotational motion. See Montshire Museum's spinning top tutorial.
  • Glue gun & popsicle sticks: The possibilities are endless—design, build, and test for sturdiness. Add ribbon, glitter, and beads to spice things up.
  • Coffee can robots: Start with a coffee can and add magnets, pipe-cleaners, and other household items. See instructions for higher-tech, programmable “CoffeeBots” by MAKE magazine.

Happy Holidays and let the thinking and creating begin!

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