Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Redistribution of Time

More time in the pool, means Ogel has to redistribute his time. So after being very involved with the Maker Club he encouraged our local library to begin, he's taking more of a back seat role. In the 18 months he volunteered there, he helped plan the 63 events listed below and attended 55 of them! Here's a link to the photo stream of the club he inspired at just ten years of age. 

Summer 2013
#1 Maker Themed - introduced, made avatar masks, brainstormed names for the club, open make
#2 Minecraft - foam tools and pixel designs
#3 Tape Ninja - duct tape shoes, iPad cases, wallets, glasses, bags, and other duct tape art
#4 Lego - built a Lego community
#5 Perler Beads - open make with perler beads
#6 Cardboard - dragons, robots, houses, shopping cart, mailboxes, games, letters, etc. 
#7 Catapult event - explored making various types of catapults
#8 Marble Run - made with paper and cardboard
#9 Maker Faire - displayed pictures from previous events, makers brought in projects they made at home, and we had an open make

Fall 2013
#10 T-shirt - used contact paper to create custom stencils
#11 Paper Craft - used templates printed on card stock
#12 Minecraft - pixel poster art, felt Minecraft heads, perler beads
#13 Popsicle Sticks - explored with popsicle sticks and hot glue guns, creating mini bow and arrows, boxes, frames, etc. 
#14 Halloween - monster gourds, mini pumpkins, ghosts, mummies, homemade decorations, and duct tape treat bags
#15 Survival - filtering water, making a compass, starting a survival tin, duct tape survival cup, paracord projects
#16 Tape Ninja - experimenting with duct tape stenciling by making mouse pads, bookmarks, pictures
#17 Game/Toy Maker - using random invention supplies and left over supplies from previous maker events,        create your own game or toy
#18 Robots - art bots, passive walker, robotic hand
#19 Winter - paper snowflakes, duct tape snowmen, popsicle stick snowflakes
#20 Christmas - felt Christmas trees, candy pouches, cardboard gingerbread houses
#21 Last Minute Gifts - soap and perler beads

Winter 2014
#21 Print Maker - make your own stamps, do some block printing, and create embossing effects
#22 Sculptor - carve soap sculptures, design molds and make castings, or maker your own unique sculpture from random objects
#23 Cardboarder - use cardboard to make a scale model of a big structure or use it to make a prototype of your very own invention
#24 Open Make and Planning - share your great ideas for projects we should do at Maker Club, submit an idea for’s NEXT LEVEL
#25 Yeti - weather permitting, we’ll make snow structures, snow art, and make and test a snowball launcher. Wear your warm outdoor gear! - if we do not have enough snow or if it’s too cold, we’ll work on making snow goggles, snow shoes, or simple winter garments
#26 Angry Birds - make plush or pom pom Angry Bird toys, paper birds, or Perler bead birds and pigs
#27 Minecraft Lego - Help us create a miniature Minecraft scene, or come and build whatever you’d like. 
#28 Perler Beads/Mosaics - Learn new techniques for making Perler Bead objects, or design your own project.
#29 Felter - learn to needle felt, and make toys or art with regular felt sheets and scraps
#30 T-shirts - make your own t-shirt stencils
#31 vehicles - ballon cars, rubber band cars, and hovercrafts
#32 batteries - five-cent battery & lemon powered battery
#33 light - pocket flashlight & straw light sword

Spring 2014
#34 take aparts
#35 open make & planning
#36 Perler Beads - 4 days Spring Break week 
#37 geology - crack open geodes & start crystals
#38 crystals part 2 - check and examine crystals from previous week, make crystal models, and salt painting
#39 open make & planning
#40 garden - plant garden & make bird frightening devices
#41 owl pellets - dissect owl pellets
#42 Mario (This was an event planned by another maker.) - Mario/Luidi hats, felt mustaches, paper crafts, Perler beads 
#43 Paper Engineering - protect an ice cream cone using paper and tape
#44 pixel post-it art - vote on designs to put on the library windows, pixel art on contact paper using felt squares, and perler bead pixel art

Build Night Sponsor
#48 LittleBits & Arduino at Heart Builds

Summer 2014 
#49 Maker Club - collaborative challenges from the blog “kids who think”  (Marshmallow Challenge & Cards and Straws), individual challenge to Design a Fish, as well as brainstorming at home and fall projects
#50 Maker Club Teen - collaborative challenges from “junk box wars" as well as brainstorming at home and fall projects
#51 Maker Club - use light sensitive paper to make cool silhouette prints, and then use that paper to make whatever you want. 
#52 Maker Club Teen - sun prints on fabric
#53 Maker Club - weaving, use yarn or potholder loops to weave on a cardboard loom, foam plate, or your own fingers
#54 Maker Club Teen - string art
#55 Maker Club - make a rocket powered by antacid tablets or your own breath. We’ll also do a messy experiment with Mentos and diet soda if the weather permits.
#56 Maker Club Teen - soda bottle stomp rockets
#57 Maker Club - no sew fleece critters or felt bracelets, use felt, fleece, glue, and knots to make cute little critters or neat felt cuffs/bracelets
#58 Maker Club Teen - needle felting
#59 Maker Club - brush bots & brush bot obstacle course, use batteries, tiny motors and household items to make your own mini-vibrobot. Then use our testing area to make an obstacle course and test out your bot.
#60 Maker Club Teen - learn to solder badge kit & Altoids flashlight
#61 Maker Club - Take Aparts
#62 Maker Club Teen - LilyTiny - LED plush Monster

Build Night Sponsor
#63 LED’s

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Reach for the Wall

I'm the mom of a swimmer. Aside from keeping my son's personal records noted on my phone because he asks for them frequently, I'm his taxi, snack machine, and occasional photographer. The competition part of swimming is entirely up to him as is how much he wants to dive into this sport. 

Ogel has swam year round for two years now. These are his ribbons and medals from a five week camp he attended this summer. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tween Boy Maker Supplies

Six months ago I wrote a post sharing our open creativity shelves. Up until now, we've had all of our supplies available on open shelves. My ten and twelve year old sons are at different stages in their making and preferring to work with different supplies. Together they decided to keep the materials each uses most sorted next to their work areas.

These are my 10 year old's shelves. Everything on it are items he wanted on it. I just helped him organize it a bit. 

On the top shelf he has a bin of molds. These molds have been used for jello, chocolate, soap, and plaster. The center bin contains cookie cutters, which actually have never been used for cookies. He uses cookie cutters when felting. The bin on the right has his water balloon pump and balloons. 

This shelf contains Perler bead supplies. Perler beads have been a staple here since my 12 year old was five. 

He has paints, food colors, stamps, glues, modge podge, a hot glue gun, and a small tackle box of different types of fasteners on this shelf. 

This shelf contains Sharpies in all colors sorted in a tackle box, a pencil box filled with crayons, woodless colored pencils, assorted tapes, and his tools. The green tool on the right is a popsicle stick cutter that has been well used. 

The plastic trays are used daily for carrying supplies to where he'll be working, keeping everything together while working, and making clean up easier. I used a lid organizer to keep his activity books in sight. The microscope has been another keeper. He has chalk and playdoh that aren't used as much these days except for some experiments in the bottom bin. On top of that are odds and ends, mostly wooden dowels, clothes pins, empty spools, etc. Above that is his knot tying supplies and to the right of those bins are his drafting tools. 

The bin on the far left contain multiple sizes of popsicle sticks. The middle bin stores his felting projects. The bin on the right has his Shrinky Dink supplies with a smaller bin inside to store his finished projects in. 

The bottom shelf has his rock collection, Lego Mixel collection, Rainbow Loom supplies, and magic set. 

This is his invention bin that sits on the other side of his desk. 

My 12 year old wanted to try using bins instead of open shelves. We already had these bins, so just did some switching around. He arranged his completely on his own, but gave me permission to share photos on my blog. 

I see some plaster, pva glue, glow sticks, brown paper, yardstick, box of straws, screen print stencils, quilling supplies, gauze wrap, a note cube, and a tree. 

Yes, this is all duct tape, three rolls deep. Duct Tape should sponsor him. ;) 

This drawer contains his painting supplies.

Fabric drawer - 

Misc. materials supplies to repurpose -

Another misc. bin at the bottom of the wide drawer set. 

Top drawer of the narrow bins, leather supplies. 

Random project misc. items - 

More random project misc. items - 

Electronic supplies - 

Felting supplies -

Sewing misc. 

Misc. paper - 

Balsa wood - 

Model Magic and sculpting tools - 

Yarn - 

We still store the PVC, cardboard, etc. in the basement. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Creative Halloween Fun Packs

We saw this idea for activity packs as library prizes and thought they would also be fun for trick or treaters. It cost less than $25 to make 130 fun packs.

Make it Snappy and Ogel decided to make four of the activity packs from the above link to hand out this Halloween. Each activity is in a gallon sized storage bag that contains the supplies for the activity and directions.

Marshmallow Building 

We went with the suggested 30 mini-marshmallows and 40 toothpicks per pack. They liked the exploratory questions, so we kept them on our handout. 

Balloon Rocket 

We could not find the long balloons (that Science Bob suggests) locally, but tried this activity with the round balloons and they work just fine for 15' string that we included. 

Exploding Sticks

We opted not to call this a Bomb, and instead simply used Exploding Sticks. There are many different instructions for popsicle chain reactions online.


We included sample puzzles and their solutions. We also decided to print the tangrams on card stock and cut them out since we have access to a paper cutter. This way the tans are ready to use. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Where Do We Get Ideas For Projects?

When the kids were toddlers I happened to score several years worth of Family Fun magazines at a yard sale. We used ideas from those magazines for years. 

We borrowed project idea books from the library. 

We watched shows such as Zoom, Prototype This, How It’s Made, and Shark Tank.

The kids enjoyed challenges from Lego Quest, Lego Quest II, and kids who think.

They enjoyed kits to introduce them to different materials. Science Wiz and Klutz were always reliable. Perler beads has idea books and project ideas online. Faber-Castell’s Creativity for Kids sets were good. 

Local craft stores are way to see what jumps out to your kids. Home Depot and Lowes provide free kids workshops that my kids have enjoyed. Check libraries within your county to see what events they offer. 

Once you have observed their interests, use those as keywords in amazon, add "kit" or "book" at the end and see what pops up. 

There are many online options, but and Pinterest are our staples. Occasionally we’ll have a material we want to use and google _____ projects under the image tab for ideas. 

Now the kids are quite seasoned and when they look at something they no longer see what it is or it's original intention, but think what does it remind them of and how else could it be used.

Garage sales and clearance sections are also good places to look for ideas.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spring Maker Club Wrap Up

We wrapped up Spring Maker Club this week. Here are some of the projects we did.

This was our first take apart event. It was a big hit and very fun.

We had two open make and planning sessions this Spring. Our hopes are to get more makers involved with sharing their ideas for future club events. 

During Spring Break we held 4 days of Perler Beads, encouraging the kids to try 3D bead projects.

In May we decided to try having connected monthly themes instead of our previous weekly themes.  The first event was cracking open geodes and starting crystals. 

The following week makers examined their crystals, made crystal models using toothpicks and marshmallows, and tried salt painting.

We prepared and planted a dye garden that will be used to make natural dyes during a future  Maker Club event. The kids also used old CDs to make bird frightening devices.

Makers dissected owl pellets to see if they could figure out what their owl had eaten.

A Mario Bros. themed event was requested by a maker who then helped brainstorm project ideas for the event. The kids made Mario or Luigi hats, felt mustaches, paper Mario blocks, and Mario themed Perler beads.

Paper Engineering was incredibly fun. Makers were to use paper and tape to build a structure that would protect their ice cream cone. Their structures were tested by dropping 1, 2, and 3 lb weights on them.

The final Spring event was the pixel and post- it art event. Makers collaborated on designs to be put on the library windows, made contact paper and Perler bead pixel designs.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Making Is Learning

Ogel is wrapping up his 6th grade year during which he self-initiated a variety of projects. 

This past fall the Fayetteville Free Library opened up a Fab Lab. It's been a wonderful resource. Ogel has had the opportunity to use a variety of tools including 3D printers (Makerbot Thing-o-Matic, 3D Touch, Makerbot Replicator 2, and Makerbot Replicator 2X), Rhino and Solidworks software, Makerbot Digitizer, Hobby Laser cutter, RoboPro vinyl cutter, Little Bits, and MaKey MaKey.

We Kickstarted the 3Doodler. The Yeti was his very first doodle. The bottom two are three dimensional doodles. 

Ogel continues to explore contact paper stencils and now does multi-colored stencils. 

The library based maker club that he encouraged our local children's librarian to start continues to go well. Ogel spends 2.5-5 hours a week helping plan and prepare the weekly events. 

Ogel created a blog where he occasionally writes maker related reviews and posts.

He has explored pixel art through foam board, Perler beads, Minecraft, Legos, digital Legos, and Post-It notes. 

Ogel was able to tour the Duck tape bus and share with them the duct tape Duck tape logo stencil he made. He turned his duct tape scraps into duct tape sushi. He experimented with tapigami. Ogel also started a local trend of using duct tape to customize your water bottle so you can find it within the team's bottles. He loves when others give his projects a try. 

These three posters were all made from duct tape. As you can see, Ogel's getting VERY detailed in his duct tape work and his projects are getting larger. The first piece he sent to as a housewarming gift for their new HQ. 

Minecraft has been an interesting building platform. The top left is part of a roller coaster that Ogel made. Here he made a creeper bridge and creeper ships. The sunken ship is a creative addition. The Christmas scene was made in Minecraft. 

The top Lego creation is a modern home design Ogel created from bulk Legos. He really liked this house and decided to 3D print it. In order to do so, Ogel had to design it in 3D software. The 3D printed version is the bottom image.

The top two pictures are of a remote control Lego car that he designed. The bottom picture is of his younger brother's Lego garage. It had a manual elevator, so Ogel attached Power Function to it so his brother could use a switch to transport his cars up and down the various levels. 

The top image is a Lego scene Ogel made for creating a Yeti stop motion. The hot dog was his first 3D brick artist type creation. The bottom right is a Lego model of a Replicator 2.

Ogel continues to enjoy Perler beads. The top four were replicated from patterns. When he was Making Minecraft Perler beads he began to design his own patterns.

This is where he took his Perler beads to another level. The top picture shows him creating a large Minecraft sign from a tag. The middle two were patterns Ogel created in gimp. The Tardis was very challenging. He used a template, but found some errors in it and had to do some tweaking. The Tardis also uses floss for the details. Ogel added the touch of using glow in the dark beads for the top.

The picture on the bottom left is of cardboard we gathered for the Global Cardboard Challenge. For sometime Ogel has wanted to recreate the image from's  cardboarder skill in cardboard. He did it! He had posted on diy asking what he should make from the hexagon centers of the patch displays. One of the staff members suggested a cardboard soccer ball. Here it is. The Minecraft pumpkin was cut by hand, all 100 some layers! The geodesic dome is another project he has wanted to master for some time. Ogel donated this one to the children's section of the library.

Here are some more of Ogel's cardboard and duct tape projects. 

These are more traditional science projects. 

Ogel learned how to solder and made an Altoids tin flashlight. He also used a peg board, cut dowel, rubber bands, and a ping pong ball to experiment with physics.

Ogel made a 5 cent battery, lemon battery, a straw light sword, and pocket flashlight. The art bot was another fun project. The house was a kit from brown dog gadgets which gave him an introduction to conductive paints. We borrowed the MaKey MaKey from the library. He used it to make a controller for PacMan. He also connected a MaKey MaKey to a homemade foam sword so it would actually work in Minecraft.

Here he's microwaving Ivory soap. Ogel made soap, a lemon clock battery, extracted DNA from kiwi and tattooed a banana.

The top three Ogel did in Photoshop. The Perler bead template was in gimp. The Minecraft patch is made in Pickle. He learned to make Minecraft Mod's and run a server this year. Ogel also experimented with an Etsy shop over the holidays. 

Ogel enjoys nature and exploring. These are some of the sights from this past year. The pumpkin he grew, then decorated for Halloween.

These are misc. projects Ogel made, one is a game in which the bands had broken so he used the Rainbow loom to make new bands, the iPad holder is made from popsicle sticks, the iPad decal was made using a vinyl cutter, he's been salvaging his outgrown jeans for a future project, the blades on the fan were each covered in a primary color duct tape, he used the cores from duct tape rolls to make a hot glue gun holder, and the jump rope was finger woven using potholder looms. 

More of Ogels' misc. projects. 

Ogel's big project of the year was coming up with the idea of a Patch Display. This project spun from his interest in seeing his unique diy skill trail map (the top left photo). The top right photo is an image from a stop motion he did of his trail map once he received the actual patches. The second row shows his initial and redesigned prototypes of his Patch Display concept. The third row shows it being an actual retail product available in diy's market! Ogel designed the Patch Displays so makers are can celebrate smaller milestones. After they earn 19 skills and fill up a display, additional displays simply interlock to their existing display. He made a display showing's original staff while playing around with other uses for it. The bottom image is of his skill patch suggestions which he sent in for a contest, but it was returned to him by the postal service due to the envelope being thicker and needed more postage. So he missed the deadline, but he still wanted diy to see them.

Felt and fleece have been an excellent first medium to learn to sew with. These are all projects from this year. The Yeti is filled with rice so you can microwave it to warm your hands. 

These are all paper crafts that Ogel made. The soccer ball he did a stop motion showing it flat, then rolling together. 

Ogel still loves to cook. Aside from the hot sauce, it looks like he has a bit of a sweet tooth this year. 

The webs and bats Ogel made from trash bags. The pumpkin on the top right is foam, he carved diy's darkness engineer skill patch on it. Ogel was Minecraft Steve for Halloween. He made the mask, sword, and sewed the fleece shirt. After Halloween the shirt became a pillow. He made an Instructable for the cheese cloth ghost. The large pumpkin on the bottom right is one that he grew himself. 

Rainbow Looms were the trend this fall. Ogel began making bracelets, then advanced to making charms. The turtle you see here has been quite popular on Pinterest. It's also been displayed at the Fab Lab. 

Ogel even made holiday Rainbow Loom charms. He customized a Lego family greeting. This year he decided to make a duct tape gingerbread house and snow man. He also experimented with book cutting. 

Ogel's starting to do some diy around the house. He organized our tools, epoxied our garage floor, and made a cot for the dogs using pvc and an old shower curtain.

We recently took a family vacation to Hilton Head, SC. Here are some of Ogel's favorite things we saw. I had to laugh as the kids picked out souvenirs. What does Ogel select? A large geode. 

I previously shared pictures from his 5th grade year here. 

It's impossible to make and not learn.