DIY Robotic Articulated Hand

DIY Articulated robotic hand

Let’s make an articulated robotic hand that can be controlled with kid’s finger movements.

This is an activity that will describe the finger movements to kids with an easy explanation. You can also try this at home with kids. We have uploaded step by step demonstration for your easy reference.

How it all started?

My younger kid is very naughty and once she playfully closed the door when my elder one was keeping her hands in the closure. Her fingers got caught and she had pain. It was not very harsh though so I managed to keep ice cubes to relieve her from pain. At that time she was asking me about how the finger bends and why thumb finger has only two partitions while others have 3 etc. To cut the story short, these questions inspired me to teach her the anatomy of fingers with a DIY experiment.

Things required for making articulated hand

Before we talk about science, let us first see how to make this articulated hand model using simple things available at home. We bought few things from our local store. But, we have provided some links for your reference which you can refer to order online.

[*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]

Steps for Making Robotic Articulated Hand

Step #1: Tracing and Cutting

Trace the hand on the cardboard by placing the hands on it in such a way that the fingers are facing you. Cut the outline and refer video to know how much tracing is required.

Trace and cut articulated robotic hand

Step # 2: Bending the cardboard to make fingers

Use a ruler and bend places on the finger-like we bend our fingers. There are three lines in each finger and bending is complete in the portion where the fingers and the palm are connected. The next line also fingers bend thoroughly except for thumb finger. The topmost line in the finger bends partially. Make sure you check this action so give a perfect movement to your articulated fingers.

create tendon bends in cardboard articulated hand

Step #3: Straw cutting and pasting

Cut the paper straw into small pieces to make fingers with bones as well as tendons. Cut them small and place them in between each bend you just made. Remember the twine will pass through this straw and make the movement of the fingers possible. So place straw pieces in equal distance.

The straw will act as bones for fingers and twine as the tendons.

Note: You must make sure to give a gap between each straw and that is the best way to let the fingers bend flexibly. Also, do not tighten too much which will make it rigid and the hand anatomy will not be reflected properly.

paste straw tendons robotic hand making

Step #4: Pass the twine and tie beads

Cut strings into pieces and for length refer to the video. Tie the beads to the string pieces and 5 beads are required for one finger. Connect them with the straw to the thumb and other fingers too. However, beads are optional. You can skip beads and pass through twine in the straw as we did as well.

Ensure twine length and give enough space to allow it to move.

pass twine and tie beads to form nerves robotic hand

Step #6: Make a handle

Holding will become simple with the help of this cardboard cutting. Fold them and use glue gun to fix the handle. You must cut it that way and fix your hands inside.

Finally we used pipe cleaners to create rings for each finger and attached them to the twines. You can use actual play rings if you have.

It is over and the hands are ready to make any movement. You can hold things, play with the gun and much more.

Paste straws with the glue gun and allow it to try so that it is fixed correctly.

playing with articulated hand

I let the girls have fun for some time. Then we are ready for our final bit.. now that we made bones, tendons and nerves, why not we add flesh to make it look like a real hand.

My elder daughter suggested we should try inserting this hand in a glove to see whether it looked like a real hand.. Here is how we tried it..

inserting articulated hand in glove

Since we used cardboard, it was bit difficult to get it inside the glove. But we finally succeeded with few extra folds in the cardboard. That made the hand more flexible and less sturdy. But we could still use it to make finger movements.

Articulated hand with flesh
Science Behind Articulated Hand
  • Every finger has three bones whereas thumb has only 2. We call these bones as phalanges. That is why there are two lines in the thumb and three for other fingers to separate each small bone. We have straws to show them externally.
  • These phalanges will connect to the five bones present in the main portion of the hand. That is named as metacarpals. (You can find 8 bones in the wrist which are called carpals, but we have not shown that in our handcraft.)
  • The forearm contains the muscle which actually moves the thumb and the fingers.
  • Long flexor tendons are the one that extends from the forearm muscle and passes through the wrist as well as the palm to the thumb and fingers.
  • Tendon sheath is the place where the tendon slide and this passes through a snug tunnel. This is attached to the small bones of the thumb and other fingers. The tendons are held in place with the help of these sheaths. Contraction of forearm muscles will pull the tendons and thus the bones are moved.

Since the tendons are linked to the fingertip from the forearm, whenever there is minor damage in tendon it will affect the entire finger. I explained this to my kid and hence she suffered pain when the door slashed on her fingers.

The hand contains the veins and the arteries where the blood flows from and to the fingertips. The nerves present will let the feelings happen when you touch something with the fingers and hands. Indeed hands make a vital part of our body. These nerves are represented by the twine that forms the fibrous tendons.

Suitable For

It is a tricky activity but aptly suits 5+ years kids. We must provide help to them to make it work properly.  However, 7+ kids can do it on their own.

For kids above age 8 can understand the anatomy and so teach in detail about the finger science.

Word of Caution
When you make this articulated hand activity with cardboard you must be around as they need to use scissors to cut them. Cutting the cardboard can be tricky so my husband helpedme out. I would suggest you cut it for them to avoid any injury.Glue gun end point is pretty hot and avoid keeping near children. Alternatively, you can use double side tape like this one just to be safe.   

Try this DIY and share your feedback for improvement. Trust the video helps you make a hand model at ease. Refer this link for better understanding in case you wish to go in-depth about hand science to kids.

Disclaimer : This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

DIY Borax Crystal Flowers

Crystal Flowers For Kids Go Science Girls

We made borax crystal flowers this week!

This is more exciting and easy activity for kids. Sounds amazing right!! So continue reading the post to know how we can make attractive crystal flowers at home.

Actually my kids Tisha (5 years old) and Prithika (7 years old) gave me an unexpected surprise i.e. ‘Beautiful crystal flowers’. Yes, we have been trying borax crystals using pipe cleaners in different shapes. This time we chose to make flowers using pipe cleaners and surprised me growing wonderful crystals on it.

Let me explain you the complete procedure of making borax crystal flowers which I have learned from my daughters. 🙂
Borax Crystal Flower Science Experiment For Kids

Suitable For

This activity is perfect for kids of 5-6 years and older kids. Even adults show interest to make these attractive flowers as these flowers are used in different ways to make their home attractive.

Crystal flowers are perfect as decorative piece in your parties, home decors and much more. Let us start our experiment.

Things required to grow crystal flowers

We require very few ingredients as usual. All the supplies are easily available in any of the nearby grocery stores. Gather all the ingredients before you start the activity. So that it gives you hassle free learning experience.
what we need

Making Borax Crystal Flower

The pretty crystal flowers is a perfect fun art and spring science project for kids to do either in the home or in the class room. Growing sparkling crystal flowers add little sparkle to your kid’s life making them more active while learning some STEM activities. Let us bring out those ‘STEAM’ skills in our kids. Confused of ‘STEAM’!!? Hahaha… it is nothing but STEM+ART = STEAM J

Step-1: Making Pipe cleaner flowers
Making pipe cleaner flowers

1) Give your kids some colorful pipe cleaners and ask them to come up with their own craft ideas on how to make flowers. This helps to build creativity skills in your kids. Also give them extra green colored pipe cleaners in order to make stem for the beautiful colors. My kids made a beautiful red heart flower. It is so beautiful to watch. I decorated my home by placing it in the vase.

Guide to make super cute fake pipe cleaner flowers
Crystal flowers go science girls

  • Follow the figures we have uploaded to get better picture on making fake pipe cleaner flowers.
  • Firstly, make a circle (required size of your wish) with any of your favorite color but choose some nice bright colors. Here in the figure my kids used blue color to make a circle shape.
  • Secondly, take some pieces of pipe cleaners (about 2-3 inches) and bend inside to form loops. You can make as many loops as you wish to have.
  • Now attach the loops to the circle which is made in the first step. Your beautiful pipe cleaner flower is ready to grow crystals in borax suspension.
  • We also tried making flowers in different shapes. This time we made loops in heart shape and attached to the circle. We used attractive red color to make heart shaped loops and contrast cream color for circle.
  • Use some nice bright green color to make a stem for the flower. Wrap the green pipe cleaner around any one of the loops and leave the rest unwrapped to give a stem shape. The length of the stem depends on your glass cup length. Always adjust the length of the stem according to the depth of the glass cup so that it should not touch any sides or bottom of the glass cup.
  • Now attach one end of the stem at the center point of the circle and make the green piece pipe cleaner straight. This completes your fake pipe cleaner flower.

Crystal flowers for kids

Step-2: Making super saturated solution
1) Take required amount of water in a pan and keep it on the stove. Bring it to boil until the water forms bubbles on the top. Then switch off the stove and keep it ready to make borax suspension. (My kids took the help of their father in this step) J Pour off the boiling water into the glass cups. Make sure the glass cups are wide and large enough to drop the flowers.

2) Now add a spoonful of borax powder (each turn) to the boiling water slowly making sure that the borax powder is dissolved completely. Keep stirring until all the measured borax powder is dissolved in the hot water. The correct measurement for making a perfect super saturated borax suspension is ‘3 table spoons of borax to 1 cup of hot water’.
Flowers-in-Borax water go science girls

3) Do not add too much borax powder to the hot boiling water as it makes the water cloudy dues to which the end results also appear cloudy. That means our beautiful crystals also appears cloudy.

4) You may see some undissolved borax on the bottom of the container. But it is totally fine. No need to worry about it.

Step-3: Drop the Pipe cleaner Flowers
Crystal flower Experiment

1) Tie the beautiful flowers to the pencils or craft sticks using stems. Now dangle the flower heads into the glass cups. Keep in mind that the flower heads should not touch the sides or bottom of the glass cups. So adjust the placement and length of the flower heads inside the glass cups as necessary.

2) Now let your flowers sit for few hours or overnight to see the amazing results of growing crystal flowers.

3) After few hours, you can see the crystals growing your flowers. Once the enough crystals are formed to your liking, remove the flowers out of the glass cups and set the crystal flowers to dry. Enjoy your lovely and sparkly crystal flowers!!
Crystal Flowers For Kids Go Science Girls

Science Behind Crystal Flowers

Firstly, crystals are formed by regular and repeated pattern of molecules linking together. Commonly crystals come in geometric shapes with straight and sharp edges and smooth surfaces. Crystals are formed when a super saturated liquid gets cool after dissolving the mineral molecules completely. In this experiment, the super saturated solution is formed when the borax powder is mixed with the hot water. The heated water molecules make more room for borax molecules to get dissolved and once the hot water gets cool the water molecules again combine together leaving no space for borax molecules to dissolve. The extra borax molecules start attaching to the pipe cleaners forming beautiful crystals. Once the borax suspension reaches a point where it cannot dissolve any more borax, then the solution becomes super saturated.


Borax Crystal Flower Experiment

Tips

1) You can make edible crystals and crystal flowers using real flowers. Try it once to keep your kids engaged in this spring season though it is fun all year around.

2) It is the best craft cum science project for kids but it is better to attempt once they become mastered in easier to grow crystals.

3) The crystal flowers require no extra care except occasional light dusting (every day or alternate days).

4) Experiment with different elements and factors using the same activity. Ask your kids to observe and note ‘what happens if the cooling rate of the solution is changed by refrigeration’.

Hope you all are amazed reading the post and learned making beautiful crystal flowers at home.

Interested in more crystal making experiments, try our Crystal Science Page, including:

DIY Amazing Crystal Snowflakes
Interlocking crystal hearts
Make your own snowy salt tree
Crystal candy cane and crystal christmas tree for your christmas decorations.

Disclaimer : This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

Scholarships for Girls in STEM ( 20+ Resources & Applying Tips )

STEM is becoming a buzzing word and many students are focusing at learning the STEM concept. This single concept includes the four pillars of education namely Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The purpose of my website is to encourage kids to understand the basics of education in a practical way with experiments. Especially my focus lies on bringing up girl children. One is because I am a proud mom of two girls and also I feel empowering girls is important for the society. With this motive, my blog is really helping parents and teachers to impart knowledge to kids in a fun way.

Having said that, not just me but across the globe, the focus on educating girls is catching speed and there are several scholarships made available for girls in STEM education. Yes, people like me sow a seed and many institutions help to nurture the dream of girl children to become STEM graduates by offering a scholarship for studies.

Scholarships for Girls in STEM

I have made an exhaustive list of institutes that offers scholarships for girls in STEM. Also, I have not given the name of the institutes but provided the following details for your quick understanding and comparison.

 

  • Scholarship Type
  • Amount
  • of persons
  • Frequency
  • Eligibility
  • Timeline to Apply every year
  • Tips for applying

However, I understand that you need to do more research before applying and hence I have also given the link of the respective institutes. You can click them to read in detail before processing your application.

It’s high time to start with the actual information and here you go!

 

  1. ABC humane wildlife – academic scholarship

 

  • Amount

USD 1000 is awarded for the 1st prize winner and that can be used for paying tuition fees, medical, housing, academics, and any other related to educational purpose.  

  • of persons

One person gets a USD 1000 for the best essay and 9 more applicants get awards for the submission. 

  • Frequency

Yearly once

  • Eligibility

Anyone can apply and not necessarily be a US citizen. Both grads and undergrads enrolling for STEM education in accredited university can apply.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

1st July is the last date for applying for the next academic year. For instance, apply on or before July 1st, 2019 for admission in 2019 – 2020.

  • Tips for applying

Prepare an essay and send it to them via email. Check their link for latest email id and other details. The essay count should be a minimum of 1000 words. Mention WOMEN IN STEM SCHOLARSHIP in the subject line for easy identification.

 

  1. Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize

 

  • Scholarship Type

Mathematics excellence prize. This was established in 1990 by the Association for Women in Mathematics.

  • Amount

The award is presented during January every year and the Amount is USD 1000. The second prize is USD 250.

  • of persons

Any number of applications can be sent but only two prize winners. Each person should send one application and can list all accomplishment in that.

  • Frequency

Once in a year

  • Eligibility

Real interest in math is a must with supporting documents. Student’s transcript and winners in local or national level math competition can apply.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Apply between Aug 15th and Oct 1st every year. 

  • Tips for applying

You can apply directly or others can nominate you as well. The nomination must be sent as a PDF file which is one to three page long and contains the excellent performance details of the applicant in maths. It can include summer work or any other exceptional performance.

 

  1. AWIS Kirsten R. Lorentzen Award

 

  • Scholarship Type

This award encourages girls to pursue their studies in physics, geoscience, and space science.

  • Amount

USD 2000 for one student who performs excellently in studies, sports, and other extracurricular activities.

  • of persons

One girl student gets the prize amount every year.

  • Frequency

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Physcons (5 times in a year)

  • Eligibility

Female student with physics as major and a US citizen or permanent resident attending studies in the US is only eligible. Also, the applicant must be a member of the SPS organization.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Physcon 11th Oct

Fall 15th Nov

Winter 15th Jan

Spring 15th March

Summer 15th June

 If that happens to be a weekend, then the following Monday is the last date.

  • Tips for applying

Submit with the transcripts. Fill the online form and send papers to the College Park. Address details updated on their website. Collect a recommendation letter from two faculty, and provide a self-declaration about your career objective. Get your W-9 federal tax form before the fund is dispersed to your account.

 

  1. BHW

 

  • Scholarship Type

Any girl pursuing masters or undergrad with STEM major can apply.

  • Amount

USD 3000 is awarded as academic scholarship

  • Eligibility

High schools seniors can apply

Masters and doctorate students are eligible to apply

  • Timeline to Apply every year

15th April is the deadline to apply.

  • Tips for applying

Along with the application form an essay of 500 to 800 words to be written. Check their website at the time of applying to know the essay topic.

 

  1. ESA

 

  • Scholarship Type

To inspire girls in video game education. STEAM award for girls.

  • Amount

USD 3000 each for 35 applicants.

  • of persons

35 girls qualify for the award

  • Frequency

Students can reapply every year

  • Eligibility

Current college students and high school seniors.

Women applicants or minority students can apply.

Applying for Full-time four-year education in US colleges

US citizens

Planning to pursue video game arts

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Feb 1st to April 26th

  • Tips for applying

Apply with your academic achievements and you can transfer from one university to another within the US. However, the award is not renewable. Mention about your career plan, work experience if any, extracurricular activities.

 

  1. Gertrude M.Cox

 

  • Scholarship Type

Started from 1989 in encouraging women in statistics.

  • Amount

USD 1000 is given to two winners every year

  • of persons

Two applicants one each in undergrad and masters (Ph.D.) wins the scholarship.

  • Frequency

Once in a year

  • Eligibility

US citizens and Permanent residents of Canada can apply. Applying for full-time studies in statistics for the academic year starting 1st July.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

23rd Feb

  • Tips for applying

Apply with the CV. Prepare an essay about your interest in statistics. Three reference letter, and academic transcripts.

 

  1. Nancy Foster

 

  • Scholarship Type

NOAA is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scholarship. This award encourages female students to pursue an education in marine science, oceanography, and sea-related studies.

  • Frequency

Once in a year

  • Eligibility

US citizens and permanent residents only can apply. Undergrads, masters and Ph.D. students can apply. But final year students cannot apply. 

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Check website for latest updates as they decide and publish every year

  • Tips for applying

You must have an exceptional recommendation, strong need for finance, and best research proposal to qualify for the award. These carry weight in the order of 10, 25, and 20% respectively to get qualified for the program.

 

  1. Palantir

 

  • Scholarship Type

Technology enthu STEM girls can apply for this scholarship.

  • Amount

USD 10000

  • of persons

10 recipients will receive a scholarship of USD 10000 for pursuing their education

  • Frequency

One time in a year

  • Eligibility

Check their site for details

  • Tips for applying

Every selected applicant will be asked to spend one full day in their office attending the workshop to meet Palantirians and see the product demo.

 

  1. SWE – Society of women engineers

 

  • Scholarship Type

Women engineers’ scholarship.

  • Amount

Not sure – ranges between USD 1000 to 16000

  • of persons

Huge number and check their site for details. In 2018 they awarded 238 applicants and scholarship worth USD 830000.

  • Frequency

May for sophomores and July for freshers.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

May 8th

  • Tips for applying

Be ready with your transcripts. US citizens only can apply. Check for the details of the partnered scholarship providers in their site to apply accordingly. You must be applying to pursue an education in ABET-accredited institutes.

 

  1. Women Techmakers

 

  • Scholarship Type

Honoring Dr. Anita Borg and her technical expertise Google offers Women Techmaker scholarship to STEM girls.  It is an academic scholarship offered in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.

  • Amount

North America and Canada

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Asia Pacific

USD 10000 – US

CAD 5000 – Canada

7000 EUR

Not disclosed

 

  • Eligibility

High school degree.

Applied for fulltime course in technology – computer etc

Strong academic background

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Fall  (May 31st)

  • Tips for applying

Prepare resume

Collect all transcripts

Be ready for writing answers for 5 essay questions

 

  1. Steph and Ayesha Curry

 

  • Scholarship Type

Academic scholarship for STEM girls to motivate girls to pursue their career in science and technology.

  • Amount

USD 30000 paid in a span of 2 years and the applicant should maintain a GPA of 3.0

  • of persons

One student gets this award

  1. Bluepay

 

  • Scholarship Type

Win essay writing competition to qualify for the scholarship

  • Amount

USD 1000 and USD 250

  • of persons

First prize USD 1000 and 2-second prize USD 250

  • Eligibility

Write an essay for about 1000 words to win the scholarship. Essay questions change on a yearly basis and check their website for details.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

August

 

  1. Payscale

 

  • Scholarship Type

STEM degree scholarship competition

  • Amount

USD 2000

  • of persons

2 person can receive USD 2000 each

  • Frequency

Fall and Spring

  • Eligibility

College going and to go girls who will choose any one of the STEM subject as their major subject.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Check website time to time

 

  1. SMART scholarship

 

  • Scholarship Type

Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral students who wish to pursue studies in STEM subjects. Go through their video for more details which is available on their website.

 

  1. Virtix IT STEM

 

  • Scholarship Type

Academic scholarship for high school seniors who express interest in pursuing an education in STEM subjects.

  • Amount

USD 500

  • of persons

One

  • Frequency

One per year

  • Eligibility

Attending STEM education in US colleges

  • Timeline to Apply every year

July 31st

 

  1. Simplisafe STEM

 

  • Scholarship Type

Financial assistance to students enrolling in STEM education degree program

  • Amount

USD 1000

  • Eligibility

Currently pursuing Undergraduate, graduation, master’s or Ph.D. in STEM subjects

Studying in the US and must be a US citizen

Must possess a GPA of 3

  • Timeline to Apply every year

May 31st and Nov 30th every year for Fall and Spring application

  • Tips for applying

Write a 500-word essay on the topic posted on their website. This might change and hence we suggest you check their site at the time of applying. Fill the form and submit the application.

 

  1. American Indian Science and Engg Society (AISES)

 

  • Scholarship Type

Graduate and Undergraduate student scholarship

  • Amount

USD 1000 and 2000 respectively for undergrads and grads respectively

  • Eligibility

Full-time undergrad or grad in an accredited 2 year or 4 years university.

Cumulative GPA of 3 and above is required

  • Timeline to Apply every year

March 31st

  • Tips for applying

Apply with a resume and recommendation letters

Prepare 3 essays 500 words each. Check their site for essay instructions

 

  1. GIS

 

  • Scholarship Type

Girls in STEM scholarship for undergrad students.

  • Amount

USD 500

  • of persons

One applicant is chosen as the winner

  • Frequency

Once in a calendar year

  • Eligibility

Applied for STEM-related degree in the US

Overall GPA 3.0

Community involvement demonstrated in STEM-related field

Documents supporting the need for financial assistance

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Oct 1st to Dec 31st

  • Tips for applying

Submit online by filling the form with personal details and submit an essay in not less than 1000 words.

 

  1. Revpart

 

  • Scholarship Type

Academic scholarship for grads and undergrads.

  • Amount

USD 1500

  • of persons

USD 1000 for one person and USD 250 each for two runners up

  • Frequency

Once in a year

  • Eligibility

Candidates applying for college education in a STEM course.

  • Timeline to Apply every year

Dec 31st is the last date for application. Announcement of results happen by 15th Feb

  • Tips for applying

Write an essay about yourself to let know why you are eligible for the scholarship

Upload transcripts

 

  1. Influenster

 

  • Scholarship Type

Graduation or under graduation studies in the STEM field

  • Amount

USD 1000

  • of persons

5 female applicants win the scholarship

  • Eligibility

Female candidate applying to study in the US and must be legally authorized by the US govt. Hold a GPA of 3.4 (cumulative)

  • Timeline to Apply every year

July to Dec for Spring application

  • Tips for applying

Apply with a resume, transcripts, and essay. Check the website for essay details.

 

  1. Snapology

 

  • Scholarship Type

STEM scholarship for girls planning to study in the US

  • Amount

USD 1000

  • of persons

One

  • Frequency

Yearly once

  • Eligibility

US citizen

Female

Applying in an accredited university for STEM education

  • Timeline to Apply every year

April 30

 

Final words

 

I have tried listing as many scholarships possible. This will motivate your girl child to pursue an education in the STEM field. Check the details and visit the respective website before you apply. Take a look at the dates to prioritize your application and win the scholarship to make your girl a successful STEM student.

Refraction of Light : Play & Learn Activity for Kids

Today we are going to learn about some simple physics by doing simple and easy science activity i.e. Refraction of light.

This activity is so quick and I really wondering how I missed this experiment this long to explain or show my kids and make them Wowww!! This is one among the 10 min STEAM activity. This activity is perfect for 5-7 years old kids (since they are in budding stage to understand physics), however all the kids can understand the science behind light refraction. Children under 5 years may not understand the science but they will enjoy the experiment results. The best part is, it is an experiment which is listed under experiments done with items available at home

Concepts Discussed
Refraction of light, different mediums

Who is it for

As mentioned it is suitable for all kids. However, 5-7 year-old kids can understand the science behind this. These children will know light and can relate to refraction. Smaller ones will enjoy but may not understand the details and the concept.

In the beginning, my daughters were like scratching their heads and saying “what Mamma!! What are you going to do only with a glass of water”? “We don’t find much ingredients except water which is boring!!” There is a reason why kids were disappointed seeing the ingredients because this experiment or activity is so quick and best part is that it does not need much ingredients. In addition, this activity doesn’t need much set up as well since we can set it up within minutes.

But after seeing the magic that light does in water, my kids were amazed. Let us see what made them surprised in this activity.

Playing with refraction of light - fun science for kids

What is refraction of light?

When light travels from one transparent medium (air) to another transparent medium (water), the speed of the light slows down and when it hits water it changes its direction slightly. This change in the direction of light is known as refraction of light. In a simple language, light refraction is bending of light. This looks simple and easy but it is unusual.

Supplies Needed

  • A piece of paper
  • Marker
  • A glass or jar
  • Graphic designed papers. You can download the graphic designs from the net and take printouts. (optional)

[*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]

Experiment  Steps : Refraction of Light

Step-1

Firstly, ask your kids to fill the glass jar carefully with the clean and clear water. Here I tried to fool my kids saying that I have given them a magical liquid to fill. My younger one (5 year old) is almost in my trap but not my elder one (7 years old). She laughed at me and said ‘hey! Don’t fool me mom, it is just water’! Lollll…

Step-2

Get a piece of paper and ask your kid to draw an arrow. Let the kids draw the arrow in any direction (any direction of arrow works out) and hold it vertically.

Step-3

Now place the water filled jar in front of the paper (exactly focusing) just before the arrow. Adjust the glass jar between the glass and the arrow on the paper until the image (arrow) can be seen clearly through the glass.

Step-4

Ask your kids to come in front of the glass jar and see what happens. Here ask them a few questions like ‘what did they observe’, is there any direction changes’, if the answer is yes (from kids), then ask for any clues or reasons to explain why it happened.

(You can have a debate session by gathering your kid’s friends as well. Having debate sessions improve their communication skills, speaking skills in public as well as builds confidence).

Coming to our activity, in step 4 you can watch the arrow appearing in reverse direction through the glass jar. This is just amazing and pretty surprising right!!

Now, my younger daughter took a paper and showed her drawing skills as well by drawing a small cat to check again through the water. J She is totally in wow mood seeing her cat in reverse direction through the water.

 Playing with refraction of light - a fun STEAM (or STEM + Art) activity for kids

In this way, you can ask your kids to observe the light refraction concept through a glass of water by trying different graphic design papers. We have tried some graphic zebra lines, round shaped dots, and some curved lines to observe the light refraction.
Refraction Of Light Science Experiment

Learning Refraction Go Science Girls

What to explore

  • Try different glasses and jars of different shapes
  • Repeat the experiments using different distances between the graphics and the glass jar
  • Also try the experiment using different liquids like oil, juice etc.

Observations

  • You can observe some aberrations or blurriness when you see through the glass. This is due to the imperfections in the glass production.
  • Things look like a little funny and different when you see through a glass.

Learning Refraction

What is the secret behind this activity?

Refraction Experiment for kids

The secret that made the experiment work is “Refraction”. As I already told you, refraction is bending of light as it passes from one medium to another medium. Ex: Air to Water or Water to Air.

In our experiment, the light wave traveled from the image (arrow) into the water crossing the glass cup and finally traveled out of the glass cup and again into the air and reached our eyes. Here, water acts as a magnifying glass which makes light more concentrated towards the focal point (near to the center). When the light ray goes beyond this focal point (to come out of the glass jar in order to reach our eyes) the image looks reversed. That means, the light on the left direction is now changes to right direction.

Hope you all too understand the experiment. Have a try with your kids!! 

effects of refraction

Science Facts Behind Refraction

Here are some concepts that you can teach to your kids.. 

How is refraction demonstrated in light?

Refraction is manifested as bending of light as it passes from one transparent medium to another. Here, the light wave or ray passes from air to glass and back to air before it reaches our eye lens. The bending is caused due to differences in density between the two mediums. When the light passes from more dense medium to less dense medium, the light refracts in reverse direction and vice versa.

Why does an arrow change direction behind a glass of water?

When the arrow (behind the glass) is observed at a particular distance, it looks like it is reversed itself. Actually what happens is when light travels from one medium to another, it is proved that it can bend or refract. During the experiment, the light initially traveled from the air, through the glass, through the water and comes out to reach our eyes crossing again the same mediums. Anytime that light passes from one medium, or material, into another, it refracts. while crossing the medium the light ray goes beyond the focal point (near to the center) which causes the arrow change its direction.

What is the science behind refraction?

The transmission of light between any two transparent media results in a change in both the speed and wavelength of the wave. The light wave speeds up or slows down and transforms into a wave with a larger or a shorter wavelength along with change in direction when it passes through the boundary of two media.

What causes refraction?

The difference in the density of transparent medium that light passes through causes refraction. 

Why does light bend during refraction?

Bending of light occurs during refraction because of change in the speed of light wave while crossing the medium.

What is wave refraction?

In oceanography, the wave refraction is manifested as bending of waves while propagating through different depths.

What are some natural examples of refraction?

Forming of rainbow when the bending of sun ray’s as they enter rain drops, prism, sunset, etc are some natural examples of refraction.

What are the effects of refraction?

The effects of light refraction are responsible for a variety of familiar phenomena, such as:
1) A straight pencil when dipped in the half filled glass jar always looks bending in the water due to refraction effect.
2) When a coin is dropped in the glass of water, it looks it has raised in its length just because of refraction effect.
3) swimming pool looks shallower than the reality as the light coming from the bottom of the pool bends when it comes out at the surface due to refraction of light.

Why is refraction important?

Without refraction of light, we could not see any fine details happening or present around us or in the environment since your corneas and lenses enable this, via refraction.

Which way is she looking Playing with light refraction for kids - a fun STEAM (or STEM + Art) activity
Effects of refraction of light through a glass of water

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play and learn refraction

Playing with refraction of light a fun STEAM (or STEM + Art) activity for kids

Refraction Of Light

DIY Christmas Tree Magnet Maze (Fun Science Game)

Playing magnet maze

STEAM activity for Christmas will allow you to teach physics for kids and they can play the maze game as well.

Magnets are quite magical for young kids and definitely be one of their favorite things to explore and experiment with. Have your kid’s ever explored Christmas science and magnets together or Are you willing to introduce some sensory play activities to your kids!? If so, then you will be amazed learning our post today. Yes, today I am going to explain you a perfect and easy activity that combine both Christmas magnetic science and sensory play. Here we go “Christmas Tree Magnet Maze”.

Playing magnet maze

We will now make a magnet maze game with fun Christmas spin. Yes, maze game on a Christmas tree painting. Hence I call this a STEAM activity STEM + ART.

The physics concept of magnetic force can be taught to kids using this game. The ball can be moved on a specific path using a magnet. Let’s understand how to do it and how it works.

For the first time, we have started this experiment by raising few questions to our kids such as “what is magnetism?” “How the magnet works” etc. I feel in this way, kids may have a thrilling time and experience while exploring and playing with magnets. Hence, we created magnet maze to explain magnetism.

Kids can draw and paint a Christmas tree and also learn magnetism. STEAM activity will let kids use both their left and the right brain. So this is one of the best activities for kids to play, learn and have fun.

How to integrate STEM activities with art to make it STEAM

Suitable For

Both preschoolers and kindergarteners will get benefited from this activity. Also, this activity is a great opportunity for kids aged above 5 years to better understand the science behind the magnetism concept. My elder daughter, Prithika (7 years old) well understood the science behind it because she has explored the activity with many variations and different ideas.

Steps to make the magnet maze game on a Christmas tree drawing

Things required

  • Magnet – Long piece
  • Markers – Stix markers
  • Paper / Paper Plates
  • Some steel object like a small ball or so
  • Geomag magnetic rods and steel balls (preferred but optional)

Things we need
Feel free to use products if available at home or purchase from the links (affiliate – thanks for your support!). 

Reviews of Geomag sets available at

Steps to follow

Step-1: Draw a maze

Here our maze is a Christmas tree. My younger kid is very much excited to draw a Christmas tree on a white paper. She recently started going to drawing classes and hence she wants to shoe her drawing skills. J She used green, yellow, black, brown, and blue color pencils and sketches to draw a beautiful Christmas tree.

We can consider this step as an artistic element of this activity where kids are able to draw and show their designing skills to decorate their Christmas tree. Also, this activity incorporates both science and art together. Incorporating art along with STEM activities encourages kids to actively participate in the STEM activities. Hope you all agree my point!

Step-2: Make a magnet stick

I have made a magnet wand or stick at home using a small magnet, glue and a wooden stick. I placed a small drop of glue on the magnet and then laid a wooden chopstick on top of the glue. I have done this step a night before we start the activity since we need to let it dry completely to avoid the mess because of glue. Now you are ready with the magnetic wand or stick! But if you does not have enough time and need to start the experiment immediately, then you can use hot glue which works best as well. It makes your magic wand ready within few minutes.

kids Playing with magnet

Step-3: Move around the magnet

Place the magnet balls on top of the Christmas tree maze. Now hold the magnet stick under the white paper. Now ask your kids ‘what do they discover or observe?’ We are able to see the magnet ball at the top and magnet stick underneath the paper attract each other. As we move the magnet stick over the paper along the Christmas tree, the magnet ball at the top also moves.

Christmas tree magnet maze go science girls

After they completed the activity, my kids roamed around the home catching the magnet wand in the hand searching for any other magnetic materials in the home. Their discoveries lead to some good conversations about what a magnet is, what polarity is, and what items are magnetic.

We even made it a game by timing the activity between both the girls. 

christmas tree magnet maze

Please Note ...

Make sure your kids do not have a habit of putting things in their mouth. The small balls used in this activity cause a choking hazard. Please monitor the same and be with them.

Also, I suggest you use magnets of large size. We used a long magnet. Magnets should not be let swallowed as they get attracted to the other items if any in the gut and causes a major problem.

So decide yourself and do this activity with caution. 

Here kids will learn the coordination as it is not easy to make it happen in the first attempt. All their senses will be activated to make this happen. First, they need eye and hand coordination to achieve this successfully.

Find more details about seven senses here

 

Kinaesthesia is the most important sense with which kids will know where to move the hands. Also, they will know the amount of force to be applied for pushing the ball on the maze path. Few kids will take a couple more time than others. Do not worry, but it is a good activity.

Gravity is the force that pulls an object towards the center of the earth. This force in general is not visible and only the movement of object will indicate this force. The steel ball on the paper plate is pulled in the direction the magnet moves under the paper.

The magnetic force produced by the magnet is also not visible but the object movement will indicate the effect. The steel ball will move due to the magnetic force as it works through the metal objects. Therefore there are two forces namely gravity and magnetic force. The former force will pull the ball to the floor and the latter force will attract the ball to the magnet. Based on the strength of the magnet, the magnetic force will succeed.

Extension Idea: 

Elder kids can do this in a better way by drawing a Christmas Tree maze based on their imagination. They can print and then paste it on the paper plate. Thereby technology is incorporated in this activity which is yet a STEM pillar subject.

Here is another version of Christmas Tree Magnet Maze created by my younger one.

Playing with a DIY Christmas tree magnet maze fun STEAM activity for kids

Science behind the Magnet Maze

Magnetic field is the most amazing thing about magnets created by a magnetic material and attracts other magnetic materials that produce magnetic fields at a distance invisibly. It seems to be like a magic. This is where magnetism plays major role. The invisible and strange force created by the magnetic fields produced by the magnetic materials is the reason to attract or repel other objects. Because of magnetism, the magnetic stick and the magnetic ball attract each other and stick.

Few facts about magnets

  • Magnets are bipolar, meaning a magnet has two ends called poles i.e. a North Pole and a South Pole.
  • The North Pole of one magnet attracts the South Pole of other magnet and vice versa. That means like poles repel each other and unlike poles attract each other.
  • A magnet produces a strange and invisible area of magnetism all around it called a magnetic field.
  • If you cut a bar magnet, you will get two brand new smaller magnets each with its own north and south poles.
  • If you run or rub a magnet over an nonmagnetic piece of a magnetic material (such as an iron nail) for few minutes, the nonmagnetic piece can convert into a magnet as well. This is called magnetization.

What is magnetism?

In simple terms, magnetism is an electromagnetic force exerted by the magnetic fields that can attract or repel the objects if they have magnetic material like iron inside them. Basically, it refers to the physical phenomenon of magnetic materials which pull closer or repel other objects.

My younger daughter (5 years old) kept pale face after listening the definition of magnetism. Yes, if we say the above mentioned definition directly to our kids, they may keep confused faces. So, we need to explain them through some fun play. Here is what I did to better understand my kids about magnetism.

Introducing your child to magnets

Firstly, I asked my girls to run around the home and get few things or objects they find. I am ready with a bowl to collect the objects they have gathered. After few minutes, my little ones came back to me with some objects and dropped in the bowl I have arranged. I will disclose the things what they have gathered 🙂 i.e. pencil, eraser, a plastic spoon, paper clips, toys etc. Now I handed them a magnet and asked to explore the items they have collected one after other. My little scientists started their research and gave me the end report saying that some objects are attracted to magnet and some are not attracted. Also there is a big question mark on my kids face and also surprised how come some objects are attracted to the magnet. I explained the concept to my kids by sorting out the objects into two sections: magnetic and non-magnetic. My girls really enjoyed this fun play before we start the activity.

Check for additional physics fun experiments here

 

Find other Christmas science ideas in the following list given below

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Design a Christmas tree magnet maze Christmas STEAM activity for kids

How to Make Heart Shaped Bubble Wand

Fun Science Project : We are back with one more bubble wands DIY and it is Valentine’s Day special! Learn to make a heart-shaped bubble wand and express your love to kids. They can also learn some bubble physics with fun.

How to make heart shaped bubble wands and some fun bubbles science for kids

We love making bubble wands and blow a dozens of bubble in the air. I play with my two little girls in our backyard. This time we decided to make a heart shaped bubble wand.

Suitable For

My niece aged 3 loves to play with bubbles. She loves it since I met her first when she was 1 year old. So I can guarantee you that age is not a barrier to enjoy playing bubbles.

Babies will look at them and try to touch them but preschooler and KG kids will learn how to make it and how it works.  Older kids will make their own and will experiment on several aspects.

Make sure to ask them the shape of the bubble once the wand is ready and before they blow they must predict.

How to make a Heart Shaped Bubble Wand

Things required

  • scissors
  • chopsticks
  • 6mm pipe cleaners (also called chenille stems)

Following two items are optional

  • Pony beads – Solid white and transparent red
  • tape (suiting color)

Materials to make heart shaped bubble wands

Needless to say that I did two wands and I am sure most of you who visit my page regularly will know the reason. For the first time readers, I will tell you. I have two angels aged 6 and 4 and hence I always make 2 wherever possible to allow both to have fun individually. It does not take more than a minute or two to complete the work provided you have all the things ready on your desk. 

Adding pony beads and a chopstick handle

I took the pipe cleaner and made a loop, twisted and created an oval with 2 inches left on the ends. To make it look decorative I used pony beads and threaded them. Tied the pipe cleaner end to the chopstick and made it the handle.

Adding tape to reinforce the handle

Additionally, I wrapped red tape to the chopstick to ensure grip and tighten the pipe cleaner in its place.

DIY Heart Bubble Wands

I have tried making it without tapes before and there won’t be any difference in the performance. Only for little kids, this will provide a softer grip. Finally, by bending the oval I made it look like a heart-shaped cleaner. Now, I did the second wand following the same steps.

How to make DIY heart shaped bubble wands and some fun bubbles science for kids

Now, you can ask kids about how they will work, what will be the shape of the heart-shaped bubble wand, etc. Let them guess and make some assumptions before you actually blow them.

Then allow them to check the results !

Fun Bubble Science Facts

Check Easter egg-shaped bubble wand to understand the scientific fact about bubbles and it’s working.

Pritika knows that the shape will remain round as she has tried with different shaped wands before. But this time she tried with different breath pattern and observed the bubble size. The slow breath will form big bubbles. The fast breath will create many bubbles but small ones.

She attempted slowly to look at the shape of the bubble inside the wand. She managed to make it look heart-shaped inside the wand.

Blowing bubbles with the DIY heart bubble wand

When she released slowly it looked around on one plane and heart shaped on the other plane.

Pritika learned science in a fun way and changed the variables to modify the result into different size and shape.

Blowing bubbles with a homemade heart bubble wand

A heart shaped bubble

Can you make a heart shaped bubble
DIY heart bubble wands

We have listed numerous bubble science fun activities and check the links given below to play as well as teach science to kids.

  1. Geometric shapes
  2. Easter egg
  3. Heart Shaped

Physics fun activities are available at Physics Experiments for Kids

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Magnet Maze Game Designing Activity – Learn Science and Art

Four Magnet Maze Designs

From this article, you can learn to make a magnet maze game and teach physics as well as art (STEAM) activities for kids.

Design a magnet maze

My kids love to play with magnets and hence I decided to teach them the magnetic force with an experiment.

Suitable For

Both preschoolers and kindergarteners can try this experiment. Tisha was 3 years and 6 months old when we did this experiment.

Please Note ...

This activity includes magnet and steel ball. Therefore you need to be vigilant in not letting children put them in the mouth. It causes a choking hazard. If you are sure that your kids will not put in their mouth, then let them do this activity. Anyways use a big size magnet to avoid any accidents. Even by mistake if kids swallow the magnet then it will get attracted with the particles present in the gut and lead to serious problems.

Steps involved in making the magnet maze game

Things required

  • Long Magnet
  • White Paper
  • Markers, pencils, and crayons
  • Steel balls small in size

You can try getting Stix markers and steel balls and magnetic rods from Geomag (these are affiliate links). You can also use similar items if available at home.

 

Find our review for Geomag products

  1. Product1
  2. Product 2

Steps to follow

  1. Draw the maze with a clear path on a paper. You can also choose online maze and print them. Allow kids to color them and decorate.
  2. Place the magnet below the paper and steel ball on top.
  3. When the magnet is moved it will pull the steel ball on the top and make it move as well.

We tried with multiple combinations of mazes. Each time, I tried to increase the complexity by adding different routes and then let the kids find out the right way out. The kids loved them 🙂

Playing with the DIY magnet maze game 

Initially, kids will find it tricky to understand how the steel ball rolls by moving the magnet. But once they get a hold on it, then they will start playing maze crazily. I have experienced this personally with my Tisha who is 3.5 years old.

She also tried with different colors and designs to add more fun. She played with crayons and colors having loads of fun.

Design your own magnet maze game

You can see her moving the magnet to see the ball rolling above.

DIY Magnet Maze game

After school, my elder one Pritika 6 years old played with the maze. But she tried to analyze the design and then figured out a traditional maze design.  I helped her with some images from online to inspire her to get some ideas.

DIY magnet maze

Extension Idea: Older kids of age 7+ can think innovatively to make new designs and decorate them. This is one of the best STEM pillar subjects. Also, this can be a good STEAM activity.

Several IT programs like Picmonkey can be used to design maze online.

Fun Science Facts

The invisible force gravity will pull objects downwards to earth. The movement metal ball is due to gravity. Yes, this force will pull the ball to the floor.

Magnetic force is another force applied in this game and that is invisible too. This force is created by the magnet and it attracts the steel ball towards it.

This is the basic concept used in this activity. Both are physics concepts and kids can quickly get a grip of it. They may not understand in depth but at least will know that there is a force named gravity that will pull the object towards the ground. Likewise, there is a force called a magnetic force which will attract metal objects towards it.

Four Magnet Maze Designs

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Shape Bubble Wands – DIY in Different Shapes

Make your own shape bubble wands what shape bubbles will they make

Let’s have fun with bubble! You can now enjoy making bubble wands of different shapes and trust it is the best way of introducing shapes to your kids. Have fun in the backyard with bubbles and teach science to kids.

It is now easy to make a square, circle, and even a triangle shaped bubble wands. We will now understand how do wands make this and what shape will it make.

You can read our guest post at NurtureStore to witness our joy with the bubble wands.

We are glad that the ebook ABCs and 123s has selected this experiment as the best among the 40+ math and literacy activities.

The purpose of the ebook is to help elders including parents, teachers or even grandparents who engages little ones. Yes, this book contains shapes, alphabets, and numbers. You can now teach kids without missing any fun using this book. More than 40 bloggers who have the same thought of making kids activities in a fun way to help kids learn and grow are collected as one book called ABCs and 123s.

It contains more of math and literacy activities and nothing much to do with science. Did I say that? Then I am wrong there are few science activities as well. To know better we suggest you read the ebook.

 

You can find many more bubble science activities in the list given below. But, let me warn you as these bubble wands DIY are to some extent addictive. No not for kids but for us too. You can now make it quickly without depending on any bubble mixtures.

It’s just the beginning to have fun.

Shape Bubble Wands what size bubbles will they make

DIY Fridge Door Marble Run Using Magnets

This is a fun STEM (STEAM) activity of making a marble run with magnets for kids. This is best suited for refrigerator doors any steel surface (you can also try with magnetic white/black boards.)


Magnetic marble run for your fridge door fun science project for kids

Suitable For

This can be done by all age group kids namely, preschoolerskindergarteners, and school-aged kids. My kids Pritika and Tisha were 6 and 4 years old at the time we tried this activity.

I would like to share this with you all and you can also have fun with your kids. Follow these steps and let your kids make one for your fridge door as well.

 

Kids can make it on their own and it is very easy too. 

Steps to follow for making the marble run for the fridge door

Things required

  • Cardboard rolls – We used toilet rolls and paper towel rolls. You can also include foil rolls or cling film rolls. Multiple sizes of rolls can be used.
  • Tiny balls like pom or marbles

  • Scissors

  • Magnets

  • Glue

  • Decorative Tape 

Fridge door marble run

In case you don’t have rolls as I mentioned before, then you can make it from cardboard but let them be decorated with tapes to look great on the refrigerator door.

Using glue gun we managed to stick magnets on the side of the rolls. However, usual craft glue (PVA) can do this job perfectly. But leave it overnight and allow it to dry completely.

Choose magnets that are strong only then steel balls or marbles can be placed in the rolls. It can withstand the weight. However, pom poms are not very bulky and you can choose light magnets in that case.

Decorate toilet paper rolls with washi tape stick on magnets to create a magnetic marble run for the fridge door

My kids both elder and younger decorated the cardboard rolls. Off course I helped them with the final finishing.

Testing out the marble run

Also, we made them look in different shapes by cutting the corners into small sections, etc. You can skip this if kids are trying and don’t allow them to handle scissors alone.

Creating magnetic marble run pieces

Now after completing, place them on the fridge. Kids will love to play with them.

Magnetic marble run for your fridge door fun science for kids

Make a magnetic marble run

Make a colourful DIY magnetic marble run

DIY magnetic marble run

Points worth considering

  • How many can be added in one go (zigzags)?
  • Using a stopwatch can we time the running marble? Is it possible to make it slow or quick by modifying the track?
  • Try to run marble with heavy balls, light balls, rough, and smooth balls. Test if the design can handle all types of balls or should the design be modified? What is the relation between the ball type and speed?

Fun Science Fact

Factors influencing the marble run design are as follows.

  1. Gravity – It is the force which will pull the object in the downward direction (in the direction of the earth’s center). Thus marble travels down.
  2. Energy– The speed of the travel will decide the energy consumption. Faster it travels better energy it will possess. The object collides and exchange energy between them thus changing the motion.
  3. Force– Heavy object will have more force and rapidly moving object will have more force too. At the same time, heavy balls require a slower track to handle the force and preventing from falling out of the track.
  4. Friction – The resistance happening when two things rub against each other is called friction. The ball texture affects friction.

Make a DIY magnetic marble run for the fridge

In this activity, you can teach them science as well as introduce STEM activities in a playful manner. Also, include art in the STEM activity to make it STEAM activity.

  • Science–Marble runs make a physics activity with concepts like force, gravity, friction, and energy
  • Technology– Using a stopwatch to set time is the technical aspect.
  • Engineering– Designing and testing with different marbles, weights, texture, and size teach engineering activities.
  • Math– You can estimate, measure and compare time and teach math for kids. Ask kids to make a table by estimating, measuring and comparing the distance traveled by the marble. You could record results in a table.

+ Art – Tube decoration with paints and tapes is the best part of art activity in this experiment.

Make a DIY magnetic marble run for your fridge door

Check Physics Experiments for Kids archive for other experiments.

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