Month: June 2021

4 Awesome Engineering Projects For Kids

Science is everything. Science is the words you’re reading to the air you are breathing. Dive into the world of wonders with these amazing at-home STEM engineering activities and projects to get you on the path to a higher understanding of the world around you!

Don’t let the opportunities to learn about amazing inventions pass by you. Explore the science of engineering. Some of these projects are familiar, but we believe all of them will blow your mind. These projects are designed to express the mind-boggling complexities behind our reality’s sciences without having to be in a classroom or lab. 

Fill your free time discovering secrets and building inventions. Possibilities are endless when science is involved, but we hope these experiments are just what you need to realize your love for science. We will be learning about the inventions humanity created to help build the world in which we live. 

There will be no shortage of amazement at the STEM researched mechanical marvels you will be capable of constructing using this article as a guide. Together, we will work our way through a list of jaw-dropping ways to have fun while learning something new.

Benefits of STEM

STEM provides an approach to learning that allows an in-depth perspective to the scientific disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Rather than teach each discipline separately, STEM meshes the disciplines using real-world applications to create a cohesive curriculum.  

There are many ways STEM can help you get a leg up in your education.

  • Inspires creativity and ingenuity to incite further inventions
  • Bolsters resilience by stressing the value of failing as a learning experience in a safe environment
  • Encourages teamwork by expressing a need for people to work together, using their strengths and weaknesses to overcome objectives they couldn’t have independently.
  • Stimulates critical thinking by engaging and honing their problem-solving abilities.
  • Encourages adaptation as a valuable aspect of the learning process to be prepared for issues as they appear.

The American education system has increased schools implementing STEM into their curriculum, making it a vital part of what they are teaching in their classrooms. This article will focus on fun ways to learn the aspects of STEM in your very own home.

4 Fun Projects to Get Your Kid Excited About Science

Whether you are looking to get your kid started in the beautiful world of science or just looking for something to keep them busy, you will find something you can use. With this list of projects we have compiled, we hope to give you an inside look at how we strive to engage interests. 

This list will have projects suitable for children K-12. By providing a broad spectrum of projects, we give a chance to anyone with a heart for learning.


Build a Bridge using Popsicle Sticks

Design a popsicle-stick bridge that is 12 inches in length and capable of holding a goal weight, typically using toys to judge weight capacity.

Supplies you will need to build the bridge of popsicle sticks.

  • Glue - Hot glue will dry faster, but craft glue will do in a pinch.
  • Popsicle sticks
  • A ruler
  • Parchment paper - to keep the project from being glued to the surface you are using.

How To Get Started on Your Bridge Building Challenge

Step 1: Predict the outcome of your design.

By understanding the possibility and effects of potential failure, ingenuity is stimulated early in the problem-solving process.

Step 2: Begin the construction of your bridge

Many different possible bridge designs may make or break your efforts. By leaving the design decisions up to the child, you help begin them on the path of critical thinking.

Step 3: Test the design of your bridge.

After construction, we move on to the Testing aspect of this challenge. By placing the bridge between two chairs, we can add weight to the bridge to test its sturdiness. 

You can test your specific goal or add weight to test the maximum capacity. However, the testing goes, study the outcome to see what could be changed.


Constructing Your Miniature Catapult

The catapult we will be constructing will be the Mangonel Catapult, or tension catapult, which uses the tension built up by the rubber bands to launch your ammunition.

Supplies you will need to get started on the catapult.

  • Ten pencils
  • 16 rubber bands
  • A spoon
  • A ruler 
  • Ammunition (small candies, pennies, bottle caps, etc.)

Steps to building and testing your catapult

Step 1: Construct your machine.
  • Start with connecting four pencils with rubber bands in the shape of a square. Lay the base flat to ensure the positions of the parallel pencils line up. 
  • Bind two pencils together at one end. Do this twice and then connect the free ends, in the shape of a ‘v,’ to the base's inside corners.
  • Then connect the tops of the ‘v’s’ with another pencil. This pencil will act to stop the lever arm and send the projectile sky-ward.
  • Next, we will bind the spoon to the middle of another pencil to create our lever arm. This pencil will determine the lever’s anchor point, so make sure it is nice and snug.
  • Attach the lever arm to the frame, making sure to measure closely to ensure that the spoon has room to launch.
  • Finally, add the rubber band that puts tension on the spoon. You can increase the force by twisting the rubber band before attaching it.
Step 2. Predict the efficiency, Test, and Measure

By setting goals for your construct, you manage expectations and leave room to work on improvement. 

Load the bowl of the spoon and fire away to see if you fall short of, meet or exceed your expectations. By tinkering with the final form, you can see what changes you can make to improve the design.


Improve the Distance of your Paper Planes with a Paper Plane Launcher

Paper planes are neat on their own, but they can reach new heights when launched using engineering wonders.

What you will need

  • Large rubber band
  • Two sturdy points
  • A few sheets of paper
  • A paper clip

What you will need to do

Step 1. Connect the two points

Using the rubber band, connect the two points. Make sure the points are secure for safety.

Step 2. Build your paper airplane with the paperclip in the nose

The design of the plane is important, but there are many with their pros and cons. The paper clip adds weight to the nose and creates a point to hook the aircraft onto the rubber band to build tension.

Step 3. Form a Hypothesis on the outcome, launch your plane, and measure the distance 

Discuss the possibilities before hooking your plane to the rubber band, pulling it back, and letting it fly. 

Adjust your plane’s design, the angle of trajectory, or even the rubber band's tightness to fine-tune the construct to your goals.


Use Engineering to Protect Eggs in the Egg Drop Challenge

Another classic in the world of home projects, the Egg Drop, continues to be one of the leading methods of expressing engineers’ importance. 

This project will leave the nature and efficiency of the contraptions in the hands of its developer. 

Necessities for the project

  • Raw egg
  • An assortment of materials for them to use

What to do

Step 1. Plan your defense

Formulate a comprehensive plan on how you would like to build the egg's housing. 

Step 2. Make a prediction

Consider how your construct might succeed or fail.

Step 3. Drop the egg

From an elevated position, drop your egg to see how your design fared.

Whether it works or not, try fiddling with the designs to test different possibilities.

Here to Help With the Big Projects too.

Established in 1990, Engineered Mechanical Systems (EMS) has created quality products and fantastic customer service. Providing Custom fabrication, Laser cutting and forming, reverse engineering, close tolerance machining, and much more, EMS has helped make strides in engineering.

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The Worlds Biggest RC Drone

The world of quadcopters and even octocopters is one of the immense technological marvels. Drones have been serving civilian and military usage for years, but in recent years, we’ve seen RC drones grow larger and larger. 

Despite this, defining which drone is currently the world’s biggest is a debatable question. While there are some honorable contenders, only one comes out on top. Unfortunately, you can’t buy it for yourself. 

We’ve pulled some of the most exciting stories about massive RC drones worldwide. You might be surprised at what some of these drones can do!

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What Makes Large Drones Appealing? 

Besides being eye-catching and a staple piece for many hobbyists, large drones have many different factors that make them appealing. 

For one, large drones offer you the ability to fly higher, longer, and lift heavier gear. These drones may be the perfect option for professional photographers to get that perfect shot you otherwise would have never dreamed of getting. 

What defines “large” is pretty subjective. If you’re just getting into the hobby of flying drones, 12 inches may seem huge. Alternatively, some of the largest drones on the market have a wingspan of over 40 inches. 

Usually, the larger drones are reserved for professionals. We wouldn’t recommend investing in such a large quadcopter unless you’re experienced since it could be a waste of money should you still be learning how to fly it and damage an expensive piece of technology. 

The Divine Eagle

Currently, the world's largest unmanned aerial vehicle, the Project 973 Shenying, or Divine Eagle, has a wingspan of just about 50 meters. The vehicle can provide minotaur stealth fighters over long distances and can operate high-altitude. 

There is little other information available about The Divine Eagle due to its nature as a military project. It’s likely able to fly at a maximum speed of Mach .08 and probably has one engine. 

China’s Divine Eagle is likely able to soar as high as 79,000 feet, while the largest US UAV can fly only 57,000 feet high. 

This isn’t due to a lack of trying on the part of the USA. While the Divine Eagle was designed to detect stealth fighters and bombers, the US Global Hawk was designed for reconnaissance and looking for on-the-ground targets. 

The Boeing Prototype

Boeing has created one of the world’s largest drones and is one of the biggest designed specifically for use by the general public. This cargo drone prototyped by Boeing offers one solution to commercial shipping. 

Shipping? Yeah, the world’s biggest RC drone clocks in at 15 feet long, 18 feet wide, and over 700 pounds. Despite its hefty weight, it can carry an additional 500 pounds of cargo and fly at top speeds of 70 miles per hour. 

What makes this drone stand out is how it flies. Boeing purchased the company Aurora Flight Sciences, an autonomous flight development company, and used said technology to make this 700-pound-beast entirely self-flying. 

Boeing believes that drones like this are one solution to help solve shipping issues worldwide. It would be able to fly from distribution warehouses to stores, allowing for quick and easy shipments. 

The future possibilities are endless. These drones could even assist in moving equipment to remote locations like oil rigs without a single pilot. This Boeing drone was one part of a shift away from military technology into more consumer-based technologies. 

While it may not be the world’s biggest drone as of this moment, it may be the drone to make the most significant impact societally. 

The Largest Drone On The Market

Unfortunately, you can’t own any of the drones we’ve mentioned. All exist either in prototype forms or for use by specific military facilities. 

So what do you do if you want a huge drone for yourself? The largest drone available as of January 2021 is the Matrice 600. 

The Matrice 600 can fly at heights of over 8,200 feet and fly at speeds of over 40 miles per hour. It can carry about 13 pounds worth of cargo and can be flown for 16 minutes at a time. 

What makes The Matrice 600 unique is that it can be operated anywhere within 16,404 feet away from the operator and has a wingspan of 44.6 feet. 

It was designed for aerial photography and for use in the industrial sector, so the fact that it can carry 13 pounds makes a lot of sense. Because it was designed with photography in mind, it’s compatible with Lightbridge 2 software and can support 1080p video and 720p broadcast. You can even use DJI’s Go app to control ISO, shutter speed, and photo/video capture. It has a built-in camera and can be used with multiple other professional cameras. 

The only downfall is the price tag. Available for $3,999, it isn’t something that can be picked up cheap and easy for the average hobbyist. 

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The Top 10 DIY Engineering Kits for Adults and Kids

More than ever, we’re all looking for ways to stay occupied while staying home. Cooking, reading, and new hobbies are at the top of our lists in 2021 (as they were in 2020). 

This includes keeping the kids occupied. Sure, television and tablets are an easy solution, but what’s the solution without letting their brains turn to complete mush from staring at a screen all day long?

Computers and electronics have transformed the capabilities behind companies developing children’s toys. 

What toys can do has dramatically changed over the years, ranging from a basic action figure to something like the Mouse Trap game that involves building and engineering. 

STEM has put a considerable push on toys and kits that involve building and designing, from assembling to programming. And better yet, some of the existing kits are even suited for adults! 

To explore your inner engineer and keep yourself occupied in the process, check out a round-up of our top 10 DIY engineering kits below.


GrovePi+ Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi

Are you more of a tech engineer or have a knack for software? Interested in developing hardware or playing up your prototyping game?

Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that plugs into your television or monitor that helps you learn programming and hardware development through practical projects. 

The GrovePi+ Starter Kit includes 12 sensors and 10 cables to get you started with your Raspberry Pi that you may already have. By combining Raspberry Pi’s power with this tech kit, you can begin prototyping hardware with a strong dual-platform while learning to build your own board.

Crowtail Starter Kit For Micro:bit 2.0

The BBC Micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that involves minimal coding, which is excellent for anyone wanting to start out with the basics. 

With this DIY electronic device, you can learn how to use Micro:bit with all of the included sensors to create everything from robots to musical instruments and controlling an LED with included modules and lessons.


Grove: Starter Kit for Arduino

Grove, a quick prototyping platform, offers more than just one option for getting into hardware and coding, even at a beginner level. 

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on simple hardware and software, allowing the user to explore the various inputs from something as simple as a finger on a button to a light sensory device.

This prototyping pair gives you the ability to create your own outputs for input sensors. Say you want something to happen with the push of a button. The Grove Starter Kit for Arduino gives you the capability to create those outputs and more.

Elegoo UNO R3 Smart Robot Car Kit

STEM is one of the fastest-growing areas for career and education today. With jobs more in demand in STEM fields than ever, how can you get into it without breaking the bank?

The Elegoo UNO R3 Smart Robot Car Kit will help build hands-on programming skills, electronics engineering knowledge, and robotics science. 

The kit contains 24 types of module parts and can be controlled via IOS and Android as well.


Engino Discovering STEM Structures Constructions & Bridges

Nearly everyone had to participate in the bridge project in high school physics class. You use popsicle sticks or wooden dowel rods to build a bridge that can withstand the required weight. 

Take those bridge-building skills up a notch with the Engino Discovering STEM Structures Construction and Bridges kit

Including nine different bridge designs, this kit shows the types of forces applied in constructing bridges and buildings to support the weight.


Bristlebots Introductory Robotics Kit

Not quite up for the kits that have tons of pieces and moving parts? Prefer something more of an introductory level?

Built from a motor and some household items, the Bristlebots Introductory Robotics Kit functions via kinetics. The movement of the motor coincides with the vibration of the robot to the ground or floor. 

Colorful and customizable, this beginner robotics kit is perfect for kids and adults who want to get into engineering the easy way.


Hexbug Build Blitz Construction Kit

It’s amazing what technology has been able to accomplish and what we can do with it. Think of everything your phone alone can give you. 

The Hexbug Build Blitz Construction Kit is smartphone controlled and includes over 800 pieces for you to build seven different robotic designs. 

Including remote controls, motors, wiring systems, and more, this kit will build robotics and electronic engineering skills for any age level.


Snap Circuits 300 Kit

Want to try your hand at building a circuit board but not sure where to start?

The Snap Circuits 300 Kit contains more than 60 snapping components to build your own circuit board. The kit includes wires, a slide switch, capacitors, a resistor, and a microphone.

You can build up to 300 electronic devices, from a motion detector to a radio or tone generator, with a simple snap for a solid electrical connection.


Thames & Kosmos Hydropower Science

What do water and energy have to do with STEM or engineering in general? 

Hydropower: the use of water as an energy source. 

The Thames and Kosmos Hydropower Science kit teaches the use of alternative renewable energy sources. With 12 experiments and building projects, this kit uses water energy to power the mechanical parts. The end result is to light an LED.

Solder Practice Kit by Elenco

Soldering is the process used to join certain types of metals together using solder (an iron base), creating an electrical bond. 

The Solder Practice Kit by Elenco will help users to build better soldering techniques while familiarizing themselves with electrical components. When the soldering is completed correctly, the end result is two LED lights flashing alternately.

Interested in Learning More About Engineering Systems and STEM? 

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The Youngest Engineers In The World

Engineering is one of the most preferred professional degrees sought after among degree aspiring students. Engineering reaches the top of the list because it offers a wide variety of job opportunities. But did you know some fantastic youngsters became engineers before the age of your typical college-aged student?

Engineers can help solve problems that are important in today’s society. An engineer could control and prevent pollution, create advancements in technology, explore new worlds, or even develop a new medicine. Engineers will work with a large pool of talented people in small cities, big cities, rural areas, and remote wilderness. With engineering, the possibilities are almost limitless. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the youngest engineers in the world. We feel this is important information to share because it’s never too early to get your youngest interested in engineering, even if that’s not a degree-seeking option they’d like to pursue.


Tanishq Abraham

Tanishq Abraham, an Indian-American student, became an engineer at the age of 15. He is one of the world’s youngest engineering graduates. 

Abraham graduated high school at the age of 10 with a 4.0 GPA. At the age of 11, he obtained 3 associates degrees in math and physical sciences, general science, and language studies - also with a 4.0 GPA.

In 2018, when Abraham was just 14, he earned his degree in the field of biomedical engineering from the University of California, Davis. Abraham graduated with the highest honors of summa cum laude. At the age of 15, he joined the college's Ph.D. program.

Abraham created a device that reduces the complications when measuring a burn patient’s heartbeat without any physical contact with the skin, which could cause the patient more pain and discomfort.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Abraham is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering while being a teaching assistant.

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Nirbhay Thacker

Nirbhay Thacker, Gujarat, is another young graduate of engineering. At the age of 16, Thacker completed his Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Gujarat Technological University. 

Thacker completed this 4-year college degree in just one year. He has earned the Young Achiever Award from the World Education Congress. Thacker told DNA that he would like to complete all 5 branches of engineering - electrical, mechanical, computer, instrumentation, and chemical. 

According to his LinkedIn, Thacker is currently a student at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology.

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Samhitha Kasibhatta

Samhitha Kasibhatta, Telangana, obtained a Bachelor’s in Engineering in Electrical and Electronics at 16. She is the youngest female ever to have passed Engineering in the standard 10+2+4 pattern of education.

Kasibhatta secured a cumulative 8.85 GPA for her bachelor’s degree from Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad.

At the age of 17, Kasibhatta was the youngest to reach the 95.95 percentile of the Common Admission Test and later joined IIM Calcutta.

According to her LinkedIn, Kasibhatta is now a Doctoral student at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

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Saad Nasser

Saad Nasser, Bengaluru, has an entirely different story than Abraham, Thacker, or Kasibhatta in that Nassar does not hold a college degree. 

At the age of 1, Nasser was not playing with toys like most children his age, instead, he was looking inside them. At age 2, Nasser was taking all of his toys apart to satisfy his own curiosities. By age 5, Nasser was reading books from his father’s library on Java programming. 

At age 7, Nasser completed a book on C++ programming. In 2013 Nasser had completed Stanford's online classes on databases and cryptography. In 2014 Nasser completed courses in computational neurosciences, circuits and electronics, and statistics from Udacity, MIT, and the University of Washington. 

By 2017, at the age of 14, Nasser founded an autonomous vehicle startup company called Ati Motors, based in Bengaluru. Nasser left schooling after Class-4 and is entirely self-taught and homeschooled beyond that.

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Michael Kearney

While he’s not a graduate in the engineering field, Michael Kearney does hold the record of the world’s youngest college graduate in the Guinness World Book of Records. Kearney was just a mere 10-years old in 1994 when he graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Anthropology. 

This record was thought to have been broken by a young Belgium boy, Lauret Simons, who was 9-years old at the time. In 2020 his parents had pulled him out of the program due to differences in opinion on how quickly he could graduate and complete his studies before his 10th birthday.

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Engineering is Everywhere!

Why become an engineer? Because you get to do some really cool stuff. As an engineer, you’ll get to be the first to try out new technology or be the one to develop something fun and cool - like designing an under-the-sea house. If you love amusement parks, you can create your own. If you like plants, you can take an adventure and maybe discover one that’s never been discovered and published before. The possibilities are endless with engineering.

Engineers are involved in making all the wonders of the future world a reality. That’s a fantastic thing to be a part of. 

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