The Hacktory Blog

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Meredith Recap!

Kid’s Club recently began a six week after-school program at Meredith Elementary School in Queens Village. For the first class, our friends at Meredith practiced their DC circuit building by creating bristle bots using toothbrush heads and micro-vibration motors powered by AAA batteries.


Once everyone had the basic designs down, the experimentations began!


Some decided to build for speed, others for combat, and some just wanted to see what was possible. Before long, a downhill course for races was thrown together and a magnificent combat arena was erected.


… and the sweet taste of victory!


The tense thrill of combat…










A close-up of the action!



For the second week’s class, we all got a little messy while exploring the weird properties of non-Newtonian fluids! After watching a short video providing some background on the basic physics of non-Newtonian fluids, we started by playing with some common household examples (yogurt, ketchup, shampoo, etc.) and kinetic sand.


All of our friends made and played with ooblek, gak, and flubber which are fun and messy hands-on examples of the properties that characterize non-Newtonian fluids in action. Each are easily be made from varying combinations and ratios of water, cornstarch, borax, and PVA (white glue), which provided tons of room for experimentation by altering the recipes. After all, who can resist mixing them all together!?


Learning about shear thickening with ooblek!

Flubber (water, borax, and PVA) packed down into a sphere makes great bouncy balls, which are super fun to play with. It wasn’t long before we began experimenting with different sizes and recipes to see which would make the bounciest ball!


Lining up for the bounce-off!

So far, it has been a great couple of weeks with really great friends and we’re looking forward to more great projects to come!





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