30+ Genius Invention Ideas for Students to Boost Their Creativity

 Jan 30, 2024  | Makeblock

As an educator, you may face challenges in inspiring your students to think creatively, brainstorm innovative solutions for seemingly easy questions, and think outside the box. It can be difficult to encourage them to generate inventive ideas and put those ideas into action.

But don't worry! This article offers a collection of over 30 ingenious invention ideas that range from simple to more complex, encouraging your students to explore, experiment, and invent. These ideas cater to various interests and skill levels, from easy DIY projects that can be completed with everyday materials to more advanced technological endeavors.

So, let's dive into this world of creativity and invention!

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The first step in developing invention ideas is to conduct simple experiments that encourage kids to explore the colorful world around them. Through these experiments, individuals can observe familiar phenomena in their daily lives and understand the underlying principles.

1. Cloud in a Jar

Cloud in a jar; a fun experiment;  meteorology experiment for students

Cloud in a Jar experiment is a simple yet fascinating demonstration of the water cycle and the formation of clouds, using everyday household items. It's a great way to engage students in understanding the basic principles of meteorology and the science behind cloud formation.

To conduct this experiment, gather a clear, wide-mouth jar, hot water, cold water, and a small amount of ice cubes. Begin by filling the jar about one-third with hot water, ensuring the temperature is high enough to create steam. Quickly seal the jar with a lid to trap the steam inside. Then, place the jar in a freezer for 15-20 minutes to cool the air inside. After cooling, remove the jar and observe the condensation forming on the inner walls, which represents cloud formation. This experiment visually demonstrates the water cycle and the process of condensation, providing a hands-on understanding of atmospheric science.

2. Hand Washing Science Experiment

Six Petri dishes; hand washing experiment

To perform the Hand Washing Science Experiment, start by preparing a petri dish with nutrient agar, allowing it to solidify. Have participants wear gloves and use a sterile cotton swab to gently rub their gloved hand, then press the swab onto the agar to collect bacteria. Seal the dish and let it incubate for 24-48 hours. After incubation, compare the growth on the swabbed area to an unswabbed area to observe the impact of hand washing. Next, participants wash their hands thoroughly and repeat the swabbing process. The difference in bacterial growth before and after washing highlights the effectiveness of proper hand hygiene in reducing germs. This experiment is a practical way to teach the importance of hand washing and its role in preventing illness.

After sparking students' curiosity about the outside world, it's important for teachers to encourage their students to pursue their own invention projects. Here are some ideas for invention projects that can inspire creativity and help to develop a sense of responsibility for caring for our planet.

First of all, some fun and easy invention ideas are here for you:

3. Robot Building

In our educational approach, robots play a pivotal role in enhancing our students' engagement with STEM subjects. We must select the best robot kits to nurture their technical and problem-solving abilities. We have previously discussed the process of building robots with our students, as outlined in our blog post titled How Can Kids Make Robots at Home. Building on that foundation, we are now introducing a selection of student-friendly robot kits that are designed to facilitate hands-on learning and innovation.

Makeblock mBot Neo

mBot Neo building process; student-friendly robot kit

This robot kit, designed for new hands to robotics, aims to educate students on the fundamentals of robotics, coding, and engineering. As a user-friendly, modular robot, mBot Neo is straightforward to construct and adapt, featuring integrated sensors and guidance to enable line following, obstacle detection, and task execution. Compatible with Makeblock's mBlock and its visual programming platform, it simplifies coding through a drag-and-drop system. mBot Neo's cost-effectiveness and educational potential make it a valuable resource for both school and home settings, igniting interest and enhancing STEM competencies.

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Makeblock mBot Ranger

mBot Ranger with fun and easy building process

mBot Ranger is a versatile 3-in-1 programmable robot kit suitable for high school students who possess the basic skills of robotics engineering. It delivers a practical learning journey that merges coding, engineering, and inventive thinking. Its stylish and contemporary design not only looks attractive but also boasts sophisticated capabilities, making it an outstanding instrument for delving into robotics.

This robot is fitted with multiple sensors such as an infrared sensor, light sensor, and a sensor for following lines, allowing it to maneuver in diverse settings and react to various inputs. It works seamlessly with over 500 Makeblock electronic and mechanical components, as well as LEGO bricks, and is designed for convenient storage and portability.

3-in-1 robot kit suitable for high school students

Makeblock mBot Ranger

Makeblock mBot Ranger: 3-in-1 Robotics Kit for Building Robots from Scratch

4. DIY Weather Station

With hundreds and thousands of weather stations dotted in the US, it's common for citizens to build up their own weather station to track the weather situation around their homes. The basic structure contains a thermometer, preferably one that measures both temperature and humidity, a rain gauge, an anemometer, a barometer, a notebook for recording data, and finally a sturdy pole.

Setting up a weather station is a versatile project that can be tailored to suit the interests and abilities of children of all ages. Younger children can start with basic temperature and humidity tracking, while older kids can delve into more complex measurements and data analysis. This project is an excellent opportunity to spark conversations about weather patterns, climate change, and the importance of environmental stewardship.

To make the most of this educational experience, consider setting up your DIY Weather Station in a visible location, such as a schoolyard or community garden. This will allow students to monitor the weather consistently and share their findings with others, fostering a sense of community and collective learning. So, encourage students to roll up their sleeves, gather their materials, and let's embark on a journey to understand the ever-changing world of weather.

5. 3D Aluminum Car Model

mBot Ranger with fun and easy building process

It is an excellent project that combines art, design, and engineering principles. This is a hands-on activity that can be both educational and rewarding. Materials include aluminum sheets, cutting tools, sandpaper, measuring tools, adhesive, and safety gear. The process involves designing the car, cutting and shaping aluminum pieces, assembling the model, and adding finishing touches. Safety precautions emphasize the importance of ventilation and protective equipment.

By utilizing the ease and precision of laser cutting, students have the opportunity to fabricate an impressive and long-lasting 3D aluminum car model. This model, with its delicate exterior features, embodies the true spirit of car design. The assembly of the model is done with carefully cut aluminum sheets, providing students with practical experience and improving their manual dexterity. The advanced laser cutting method ensures that the model's design is detailed and the parts fit perfectly, significantly boosting the car model's visual attractiveness.

6. DIY Wooden Jenga Blocks

Wooden Jenga Blocks

DIY Wooden Jenga Blocks are a fun and engaging project that can be customized to suit your style or theme. Not only do they make a great game for parties and gatherings, but they also provide an opportunity to practice woodworking skills. This hands-on activity not only provides entertainment but also engages children in understanding balance, gravity, and the principles of engineering. With just a few simple materials like wood, a laser cutter, kids can create their own set of Jenga blocks and embark on a journey of building, testing, and learning.

For an added educational twist, you can introduce the concept of structural engineering by discussing how real-world buildings are designed to withstand weight and stress. This can lead to a broader conversation about the importance of design and construction in everyday life.

7. DIY Tangrams

Tangrams

Embrace the ancient wisdom of China with DIY Tangrams, a hands-on project that combines the precision of modern laser-cutting technology with the timeless charm of traditional puzzles. Tangrams, which consist of seven flat geometric shapes, have been a cornerstone of mathematical and spatial education for centuries. By crafting your own set, you not only engage in a creative activity but also open the door to a world of learning that enhances spatial reasoning, sharpens problem-solving skills, and deepens the understanding of geometric transformations.

The process of creating DIY Tangrams involves using a laser-cutting machine to meticulously carve out the shapes from a variety of materials, such as wood or cardboard. This allows for a high level of accuracy and detail, ensuring that each piece fits perfectly together. Once the pieces are ready, real fun begins as you challenge yourself to create new figures and designs, limited only by your imagination.

Don't be left out by the impressive laser cutter projects others are creating! It's time to join in and transform your classroom into a hub of imaginative activities! By incorporating these two trendy laser cutters, you'll elevate your teaching methods to a whole new level of excitement.

xTool P2

xTool P2; multi-functional laser cutter

xTool P2 is a high-performance, 55W multi-functional CO2 laser cutting machine designed for desktop use. It utilizes CO2 laser tubes known for their efficiency, albeit with a delicate nature compared to those in D1 Pro, M1, and F1. P2 is capable of cutting through thick materials like 18mm walnut and 20mm acrylic simultaneously, thanks to its 55W power and 600mm/s cutting speed.

It facilitates educators and students to effortlessly craft detailed designs, models, and educational resources. Its adaptability for engraving various materials broadens the scope for creativity in educational settings. The machine includes complimentary software like XCS and Lightburn, which streamlines the design and execution of laser-cutting tasks without incurring extra expenses.

Incorporating xTool P2 into educational programs can stimulate hands-on learning, fostering creativity and innovation among students. This robust device equips educators with the means to enrich their teaching with practical examples, equipping learners with the skills necessary for future technological challenges.

xTool P2

xTool P2

xTool P2 55W Desktop CO2 Laser Cutter for Schools

xTool F1

Work of xTool F1; up to 8mm thick

If I were to suggest the top pick for students, xTool would be the initial recommendation. In the educational setting, our focus is on ensuring both versatility in functionality and safety. xTool meets these criteria perfectly.

xTool F1 is a compact, portable laser cutting device equipped with both a 2W 1064nm infrared laser and a 10W 455nm diode laser, earning it the title of speed champion. The diode laser is capable of etching a wide range of materials such as wood, leather, ceramics, glass, rock, and rubber, while the infrared laser excels at engraving metals including gold, silver, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, and rubber. The combination of these two lasers expands the possibilities for material engraving.

At the same time, the fully enclosed and locked cover prevents damage to the eyes from powerful laser lights and safely contains any toxic odors associated with engraving, meeting safety standards. With a built-in fan and air purifier quickly extracting smoke and smell, students can engrave it in private spaces or show it in public with peace of mind.

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xTool F1

xTool F1 Fastest Portable Diode Laser Engraver for School

8. Jellybean Building

Jellybean building; jellybean and toothpicks

The hard, sticky inside of the jelly beans is the perfect choice to make some seriously stable creations.With a variety of jelly beans in different sizes and colors, some toothpicks, a ruler if you want to set specific dimensions, you could get a perfect jellybean building by yourself. Building with jelly beans is a fun and colorful activity.

Building with jelly beans is a lighthearted way to explore balance, stability, and creativity. It's a fun activity that can be adapted to suit different age groups and skill levels, making it a versatile choice for parties, classrooms, or just a fun afternoon activity.

9. LEGO Toy Bricks

LEGO toy bricks

Introducing LEGO Toy Bricks into the classroom is a dynamic way to engage students in learning across various subjects, particularly in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education. The integration of LEGO bricks in the classroom can be as simple as providing a set of standard bricks, plates, and tiles, or as advanced as incorporating Technic parts for more intricate projects. Students can use these bricks to construct models that represent mathematical concepts, such as geometric shapes and spatial relationships, or to engineer structures that demonstrate principles of physics, like balance and force.

The beauty of using LEGO bricks in the classroom is that the learning experience can be tailored to the student's interests and developmental stages. Whether it's a simple tower-building activity for younger students or a collaborative project to design a sustainable community for older students, LEGO bricks provide a versatile platform for hands-on learning and critical thinking.

10. DIY Anemometer

anemometer device used measuring wind speed

To begin, gather materials such as a lightweight, flat object like a plastic bottle cap, a vertical rod or dowel, a protractor, and a ruler or tape measure. Students can attach the bottle cap to the top of the rod, ensuring it can rotate freely. The rod should be secured vertically into a base, such as a wooden block or a heavy object, with the bottle cap facing in the wind direction. To measure wind speed, students can mark the rod with a scale, using the protractor to ensure accurate angles.

The anemometer can be placed outdoors to collect data on wind speed. Students can then observe and record the bottle cap's rotation, correlating the speed with the marked scale. This project not only engages students in practical science but also encourages them to analyze and interpret real-world data, fostering a deeper understanding of meteorology and environmental science.

11. A self-made Phone Holder

Smartphones have become a vital component of our daily routines, accompanying us on various occasions. However, managing them while multitasking, like consuming food while browsing the news, can be challenging. Why not guide students in creating their phone stands? This hands-on experience can nurture their capacity to address everyday challenges, equipping them with problem-solving skills for the future.

Students can sketch their design, considering the size of the phone and the desired angle for viewing or charging. After cutting the material to size, they should sand the edges to ensure safety and comfort when handling. To create a non-slip base, they can cut a piece of rubber or silicone to fit the bottom of the holder, providing stability.

12. An Egg Drop Challenge

An egg with protection; an egg protective device

Have you tried this super fun activity yet? The task set for children is to engineer a protective device utilizing a range of materials, typically those that can be recycled, to safeguard a raw egg during a significant drop.

First, explain the objective to students: to create a protective contraption that will prevent an egg from breaking after being dropped from a certain height. Provide guidelines for the materials they can use, emphasizing the use of recyclables to promote sustainability. Give them a few days to gather the materials they need. Next, allocate time for brainstorming and design, allowing students to sketch their ideas and discuss them with peers. After the design phase, set a deadline for the construction of the egg protectors. Choose a safe location for the drop, ensuring it's clear of bystanders and has a soft landing area. Conduct the challenge in a controlled environment, with students taking turns to drop their egg protectors and observe the results. Finally, debrief the activity by discussing the successes and failures, highlighting the engineering principles applied and the lessons learned.

13. Bottle Rocket

Building a bottle rocket is a thrilling STEM activity that combines fun and learning. Start by constructing a stable launch pad, using materials like LEGO or craft sticks, to hold an upside-down 2-liter pop bottle. Next, prepare the rocket by filling the bottle with 1-2 cups of vinegar and inserting a paper towel square with a tablespoon of baking soda inside. Secure a cork or a pool noodle piece tightly into the bottle's mouth. Find a spacious, open area for the launch, set the launch pad on solid ground, and quickly flip the bottle into the pad. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide gas, creating pressure that propels the rocket into the sky. Remember to clean up with water to neutralize any remaining vinegar and ensure safety. This activity teaches engineering, math, and physics concepts memorably and enjoyably.

14. A Book Stand That Holds the Book Open

To create a book stand that holds the book open, gather materials like a sturdy piece of wood or cardboard, a pair of scissors, a ruler, and adhesive tape or glue. First, measure and cut the base of the stand, ensuring it's wide enough to support the book's weight. Next, cut two vertical supports from the same material, attaching them to the base at a comfortable reading angle.

For the book-holding mechanism, create a pair of adjustable arms from the same material. These should be able to rotate and be secured at various heights to accommodate different book sizes. Attach these arms to the vertical supports, ensuring they can grip the book firmly without damaging the cover. Test the stand by placing a book between the arms, and adjusting the height and tension as needed for a secure hold. This DIY project not only promotes students' reading efficiency but also encourages their creativity and problem-solving skills.

15. DIY Catapult

To create a book stand that holds the book open, gather materials like a sturdy piece of wood or cardboard, a pair of scissors, a ruler, and adhesive tape or glue. First, measure and cut the base of the stand, ensuring it's wide enough to support the book's weight. Next, cut two vertical supports from the same material, attaching them to the base at a comfortable reading angle. For the book-holding mechanism, create a pair of adjustable arms from the same material. These should be able to rotate and be secured at various heights to accommodate different book sizes. Attach these arms to the vertical supports, ensuring they can grip the book firmly without damaging the cover. Test the stand by placing a book between the arms, and adjusting the height and tension as needed for a secure hold. This DIY project not only promotes students' reading efficiency but also encourages their creativity and problem-solving skills.

16. A Self-made Volcano

sand volcano science experiment tutorial for kids

Creating a homemade volcano is a great way to teach children about geology, chemistry, and the power of natural forces. Here's a simple guide to making a homemade volcano:

To carry out this experiment, some simple and easy-getting materials are needed, including a large plastic bottle, modeling clay or playdough, baking soda, vinegar, red food coloring and a spoon or funnel to pour the vinegar.

The first step is removing the label from the plastic bottle and cutting the top off, leaving the bottom part of the bottle. And then we should mold the modeling clay or playdough around the open top of the bottle to create a volcano shape. Here, make sure the clay is thick enough to hold its shape and cover the opening of the bottle. After this operation, place the volcano on a tray or large pan to catch the "lava" that will flow out when the reaction occurs. Fill the bottle (now the volcano's crater) about halfway with vinegar. If you want to add color, you can add a few drops of red food coloring to the vinegar. Slowly pour a small amount of baking soda into the vinegar-filled bottle. The baking soda reacts with vinegar to produce carbon dioxide gas, which causes the "lava" (vinegar and water mixture) to bubble up and overflow from the crater.

Then, we offer some intermediate invention ideas.

17. Mechanical Hand

Mechanical hand; invention ideas for high school students

Creating a mechanical hand is an engaging project that can inspire creativity and teach students about mechanics, engineering, and even basic programming.

To begin, students can sketch a design for their mechanical hand, considering the number of fingers and the desired range of motion. They can then select materials such as cardboard, foam board, or even recycled plastic to construct the hand's frame. For the fingers, plastic straws or tubes can be used, connected to the base with string or wire to allow movement.

Teachers can guide students through the process of creating a simple pulley system or lever mechanism to control the fingers' movement. For a more advanced project, incorporating small motors and an Arduino board can introduce students to the world of robotics and coding.

18. Magnetic Slime

magnetic slime

To teach students about magnetism and polymer science, making magnetic slime in the classroom is an excellent engaging project in scientific exploration.

To make magnetic slime, students will need clear glue, liquid starch, iron filings, and a strong magnet. The process begins with mixing the glue and starch in a container, then stirring in the iron filings to create a magnetic, gooey substance. Once the slime has formed, students can use the magnet to manipulate the slime, observing how it reacts to the magnetic field.

The magnetic slime project encourages creativity by allowing students to design their slime creations, such as animals, shapes, or even abstract art pieces. They can also explore the limits of the slime's stretchability and its interaction with different magnetic forces.

19. Non-Newtonian Fluid

non-Newtonian fluids; oobleck

Creating a non-Newtonian fluid, such as oobleck, in the classroom is a fascinating way to introduce students to the concepts of fluid dynamics and the properties of matter.

To make oobleck, a classic example of a non-Newtonian fluid, students will need cornstarch and water. The mixture, when prepared in the right proportions, exhibits shear-thinning behavior, meaning it becomes a solid under stress but flows like a liquid when not under pressure.

Teachers can guide students through the process of mixing cornstarch and water to create the oobleck, emphasizing the importance of the ratio and the unique properties of the resulting substance. Once the oobleck is made, students can explore its characteristics by poking, squeezing, and even dancing on it, as the fluid's viscosity changes with the applied force.

This experiment can inspire creativity by challenging students to design experiments to test the fluid's properties, such as creating a "dancing oobleck" by placing it on a vibrating surface or building structures that can withstand the fluid's unusual behavior. Teachers can also extend the learning by discussing real-world applications of non-Newtonian fluids, like quicksand or ketchup, and how understanding these properties can lead to innovations in engineering and material science.

20. DIY Telescope 

DIY Telescope

The allure of the cosmos has captivated people throughout history, and crafting a homemade telescope provides an exhilarating opportunity for families to delve into the mysteries of the night sky. By assembling a telescope from basic components such as PVC tubing, optical lenses, and reflective mirrors, children can gain insights into the fundamentals of light manipulation, celestial studies, and the expansive cosmos.

This hands-on endeavor not only presents a captivating educational pursuit for all ages but also ignites a profound sense of wonder and inquiry into the celestial realms. Thus, gather your supplies and embark on a celestial adventure with the family through this do-it-yourself telescope endeavor!

21. A Balance Scale

balance scale

Definitely you can introduce the concept of balance and weights in the classroom with a simple yet effective DIY balance scale activity. Utilizing everyday items such as a plastic coat hanger, cups, and string, students can create their own hanging balance to explore the principles of weight and equilibrium. For older students, involve them in the construction process to deepen their understanding.To stimulate inquiry-based learning, pose questions that encourage students to test the scale's functionality, such as determining the weight of a toy car using LEGO bricks. This project offers numerous opportunities for variation, such as categorizing objects by shape or material, making it a versatile STEM activity that can be revisited frequently. By engaging in hands-on experiments with the homemade balance scale, students develop their analytical skills and a deeper appreciation for the science of measurement.

22. Plant Growth Chamber

plant growth chamber made by students

Teaching students to build a tiny plant growth chamber is a hands-on project that can be constructed using a clear plastic container, such as a repurposed fish tank or a large plastic bin, which will serve as the chamber. Students can then fill the base with soil and plant seeds, ensuring to label them for easy identification.

To control the environment, the chamber should be equipped with a light source, such as fluorescent bulbs, to mimic natural sunlight, and a temperature regulator to maintain a consistent temperature. Students can monitor and record the conditions, including humidity levels, by using a hygrometer. The chamber should be placed in a location with adequate light, but away from direct sunlight to prevent overheating.

23. Circuit Experiment

Electricity plays a crucial role in our everyday existence, and students need to comprehend the functioning of circuits to appreciate the basics of electrical engineering. Engaging middle school students in circuit experiments allows them to gain practical knowledge about electricity, circuitry, and the design of electrical systems through the construction of DIY circuits with basic tools such as batteries, wires, and light bulbs.

Electricity plays a crucial role in our everyday existence, and students need to comprehend the functioning of circuits to appreciate the basics of electrical engineering. Engaging middle school students in circuit experiments allows them to gain practical knowledge about electricity, circuitry, and the design of electrical systems through the construction of DIY circuits with basic tools such as batteries, wires, and light bulbs.

24. Shark Coding Game

Sharks keep swimming constantly. To further enhance STEM education, teachers can instruct students to learn shark knowledge with a hands-on coding game.

This game allows our teachers to teach coding in a computer-free environment encourages children to think logically and introduces them to a highly sought-after skill. Moreover, the game format adds an element of fun.

All we need to do is create squares on a foam board using washi tape. Then, print and cut out the game pieces, which should include shark figures, fish tokens, obstacles, currents and command cards. The game can be played solo or with multiple players and can be tailored to different age groups. Place obstacles and food tokens on the board as desired, with no fixed positions. Each player selects a shark piece and a set of coding commands, along with a dry-erase marker.Players can start from the same side or corners, and this can be varied with each game. What a fun and easy game!

Finally, several invention ideas with advanced requirements that are beneficial for the environment and our planet will be introduced:

25. Newspaper Tree

To teach students how to make a newspaper tree and foster environmental awareness, follow these simple steps inspired by the Wise Owl Factory's STEM activities. Begin by collecting old newspapers and repurposing them for this eco-friendly project. Roll up a few pages, tie them with a string, and cut thin strips at one end to create the base of the tree. Then, carefully pull on the uncut part of the newspaper to watch the tree "grow" before the children's eyes. This activity not only recycles materials but also demonstrates the concept of transformation and growth.

Explain to the students that by using recycled newspapers, they are reducing waste and contributing to a cleaner environment. Encourage discussions on the importance of recycling and how small actions can have a significant impact on the planet. This hands-on activity not only engages students in a creative process but also educates them about sustainability and the value of reusing resources. By the end of the project, students will have a tangible representation of their efforts to protect the environment and a deeper understanding of the role they play in conserving natural resources.

26. Mini Water Cycle Model

a mini water cycle model; water cycle in a bag

To create a mini water cycle model, start by assembling a clear plastic container, such as a large bottle or jar, with a lid. Fill the bottom with a layer of soil or sand to represent the ground. Add a small amount of water to the soil to simulate groundwater. Attach a sponge or cotton wick to the side of the container, with one end submerged in the water and the other end extending to the top of the container. This will mimic the evaporation process.

Place the container in a sunny spot or under a lamp to encourage evaporation. As water evaporates, it will condense on the cooler lid, forming droplets that represent clouds. These droplets will then drip down the wick, simulating precipitation, and return to the soil, completing the cycle. This model visually demonstrates the key stages of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

27. Smart Garden

As students become adept with basic tasks, they can progress to more complex experiments that blend technology, environmental studies and sustainability within their educational journey.

Begin by explaining the concept of a smart garden, which typically uses sensors, automation, and data analytics to optimize plant growth. Guide students in selecting appropriate plants, designing a layout, and assembling the necessary components like soil, containers, and smart sensors. Demonstrate how to connect these sensors to a microcontroller or app for monitoring conditions like moisture, temperature, and light intensity.

The benefits of this project are manifold: students learn about plant biology, data collection, and the application of technology in agriculture. They also develop problem-solving skills as they adjust the system to meet the plants' needs. Additionally, a smart garden promotes environmental awareness and the importance of sustainable living practices.

28. Water Filter Bottle

water filtration

Creating a water filter is an engineering challenge. Students begin by assembling a filtration device using two 0.5-liter water bottles, one with the bottom cut off to serve as the filter chamber. They secure cheesecloth around the neck of the top bottle and fill it with various filter media, such as cotton balls, coffee filters, or activated carbon, to create layers that will filter the water. Students then pour simulated wastewater, a mixture of distilled vinegar, food coloring, dust, soil, hair, and water, into the top bottle and observe the filtration process. They measure the pH and conductivity of the water before and after filtration using pH test strips and a homemade conductivity tester. The goal is to achieve the clearest and purest water possible, with the winning team's water being the most transparent.

29. Oil Spill Cleanup Activity

In an oil spill cleanup educational activity, students assume the role of environmental engineers tasked with mitigating a simulated oil spill, complete with feathers representing marine wildlife. The objective is to enhance their comprehension of the environmental impacts of oil spills. The challenge involves using provided materials to remove oil from the feathers and water, transferring the collected oil into a container.

The setup includes cotton balls, trays, sponges, vegetable oil, plastic spoons, Dawn soap, cups, and cocoa powder to mimic crude oil. Students are divided into teams and given 15 minutes to clean the oil from the water and feathers. This can be followed by a qualitative comparison of the results or a quantitative measurement of the oil collected, which can be used for math exercises.

Alternatively, the activity can be turned into a competition, with teams aiming to collect a specific amount of oil. This requires a preliminary test to ensure the challenge is feasible within the time frame. The session concludes with a discussion on effective cleanup methods and the lessons learned from experience.

30. A Solar-powered Charger

A DIY solar-powered phone charger harnesses the sun's energy to replenish your mobile device's battery. Undoubtedly, its mobility, energy-saving capabilities, and ease of use are unparalleled. Constructed with solar cells, this self-made solar USB charging device not only contributes to reducing your electricity bills but also enables rapid charging of gadgets, providing a convenient power source while you're away from traditional outlets.

This DIY project not only provides a portable and eco-friendly charging solution but also offers hands-on experience in engineering and environmental science. By following a step-by-step guide, students can create their own solar-powered charger, learning about the conversion of solar energy into electrical power and the importance of sustainable energy sources. Students will need materials such as mini solar panels, heat shrink tubing, a soldering iron, solder, wire strippers, and an Altoids tin case. They will cut and solder wires to the solar panels, heat-shrink the connections for protection, and modify a phone charger by exposing its wires. The primary wire from the charger is then connected to the solar panels, and the entire setup is housed in the Altoids tin.

31. Paper-made Living Space

Encourage children to create their ideal living environment using simple supplies such as cardboard, paper, adhesive tape, and glue. Inspire them to research various dwellings from around the globe and consider factors that enhance comfort and sustainability in a home, office, or any other space. For this activity, collect the necessary materials for your chosen project. The requirements vary based on the house design you opt for, but all are readily available. For crafting an origami house, our students need a single sheet of paper for origami or regular paper, along with scissors and a marking tool like a pen or marker. Creating a paper dollhouse is a bit more intricate but remains manageable. We require 10 to 11 sheets of paper, a writing instrument, adhesive tape, and scissors. The layout and operational process are entirely up to the individual. Provide ample space and time to stimulate their inventive spirit.