Simple Machines Pinball

Weekly Wrap up: Beaver STEM Night

In my life this week…

We had another STEM night at Beavers this week. We had a short discussion on simple machines and then did two activities. The first activity was lifting a concrete block. I expected that none of the kids would be able to lift it without the pulleys but they all did. Then I hooked it up to a set of six pulleys and of course it was easier with some minor duct tape tuning of the method. We also talked about how far back we had to walk to get it to move. The amount of work is always the same.

Simple Machines Pinball
Simple Machines Pinball

The second activity was was a pinball table made from an aluminum pan, cardboard lever, and straws. The kids had a lot of fun with this one but was to noisy for them to hear the explanation of inclined planes and levers. Oh well, they had fun.


I did some more quilling and tried some of the photographing tips I stole last week. I like this picture better than any that I have done of them but I still think the picture of the butterfly from last week is the best. This weeks quilling has been a dragonfly that is still in pieces and koala bear that I actually made a while ago. I was washing a salsa jar and realized that he fit perfectly. I just had to make the base and mount him. He is quite a bit smaller than the rest of them.

Quilled Koala Bear
Quilled Koala Bear


I didn’t get as much done this week as I had originally planned. My wife did go through the books and as I expected she did rescue a few but we took three overflowing boxes of books to the thrift store. Overall I took six boxes. It is always such a wonderful feeling to actually have the items out of the house. It is like a weight has been lifted or a breath of fresh air.

In our homeschool this week…

Margaret did her experiments with the potato batteries. We managed to knock the number down to 8. She tested two types, cooked by various methods and the placement of the copper and the zinc probes. We had her use the same potato for the seven different distances. I was surprised with the results that she still needs to write up into a proper report.

Philip Tool Box
Philip Tool Box

Philip is almost finished his toolbox with Grandpa. He has some finishing work to do and I need something of a report out of him. I think for the sake of simplicity and and my sanity I will make it oral.

Books I’m Reading…

I just finished a book I bought after our Worldcon trip this summer. The author was a guest on one of the Writing Excuses episodes that I watched being recorded. The description she gave of her book was more than enough for me to go buy it. The premise is that magic works on man-made materials. So for example you can be a paper magician otherwise known as a ‘folder’. Origami and magic sold me. It was a quick YA read but I quite enjoyed it. I have ordered the other two books in the series. She has another book coming out this summer where the person magically infuses her baked goods with emotions and abilities. With my love of baking I can’t wait for that one.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap up: Beaver STEM Night”

  1. Lots of fun projects this week for all of you. I can’t imagine the noise of the pinball games though. You are pretty brave for even considering that! I got stuck on cleaning this week; we were too busy so nothing new was decluttered. I feel antsy about completing it all.
    Have a good weekend!

  2. Looks like you guys had a project filled week! Your koala bear is adorable and Philip’s tool box looks beautiful. It’s awesome when Grandparents help teach the kids what they know!

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