We just finished showing all the kids science fair projects last week. It’s funny — I never made anyone enter the science fair, but just about every year, all the kids in this house that are in elementary school come up with science fair projects. I might give a little guidance here and there, and buy all the poster boards (so many poster boards), but they come up with the ideas, and go with me to get materials, and do a lot of the work themselves.
I will say — we’ve never actually won. Some of the projects there are way out of our league, and I get the feeling they’re not really kid-led or even kid-participated-in except for a tiny bit. We should have a Science Fair Accountability Team that goes around throwing questions at kids to see if they really understand their projects once they veer off the script their parents wrote for them the night before.
No? Too much?
This science fair project, though — I promise it was my son from start to finish (except ordering the parts. I didn’t give him access to my credit card or anything, so I had to order all the materials for him. And his dad helped him tweak his final project a bit, but he did all the building and things.) To give you an idea of an age range — my son is nine and managed most of this project alone. If you wanted to build it with your younger kids, as a fun spring or summer break project, you totally could.
Wanna see him dance? Of course you do!
I checked Amazon for the parts they require, and the vendor they recommend in their instructions is definitely cheaper. Allow at least a week for the parts to come, so I’m afraid this isn’t a last-minute project. We bought all other supplies like the corks and craft sticks and tape at Michael’s, but I’m sure you can find them at any craft store. And the one other thing I wish we’d added — googly eyes. Come on! That would be hilarious, watching ’em bounce around while the robot danced.
We made a few small tweaks after we built it. Just pushing the corks into the sides of the motor wasn’t enough to keep them on, so his legs kept falling off at first. We took the glue gun, and put a little glue in the holes made in the cork, then reattached the legs and let them dry and he held up much better. And he dances a little crazy, so make sure you keep an eye on him if he’s up on a table or anything. You could contain him in a cardboard box or something.
Good luck! I hope you have as much fun with this project as we did! If you try it and have any more tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments. Or any other ideas for great science fair projects — we can always use those, too.