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Ask an Educator: Tinkering with Air Machines

Join Science World educators and teachers across B.C. for weekly sessions about STEAM learning and teaching.

About this Event

STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art & design, and math

In these weekly sessions we'll share resources, ideas, and find answers to questions.

This week: Tinkering with Air Machines

Air Machines are powered by wind. In this workshop, learn how to challenge your students to build a wind turbine-style Air Machine and introduce them to invention and innovation, along with the engineering design process. Encourage them to design, build, test, and modify their Air Machines to determine the factors that affect its performance. Along the way, they’ll ponder what it takes to be an inventor and discover how engineers learn from failure. What will your student’s Air Machines look like?

(Recommended for teachers of grades 3–7)

What is “tinkering”?

Tinkering is mindful messing about with tools and materials, with the goal of finding out their possibilities and limitations. When we tinker, we learn about scientific topics, make new things from existing parts, solve problems, and learn by making mistakes.

Suggested materials for the session:

  • Thin cardboard (e.g. from a cereal box) or cardstock
  • Straws (paper or plastic) or dowels
  • Scissors
  • Pushpins, brass fasteners, or sewing pins
  • A hair dryer or fan
  • Bottle caps
  • Tape

This session will be held on Zoom. Meeting details will be emailed upon registration.

This program is a part of Tech-Up, Science World's initiative to enhance existing programs to include coding and computational thinking.