Linkages: Fort Worth Museum Homeschool Afternoon

We attended the Fort Worth Museum January Maker Studio Homeschool Afternoon. We learned about motion, levers, simple machines, and of course, how linkages affect them.

There were 2 tables full of different linkages that could be made.  The kids were able to experiment with how each one moved differently depending on the linkage and the orientation of the strips of cardboard.

Next we were shown a huge stash of cardboard strips, brads, scissors, and lots of decorating supplies.  Our challenge was to try to make some type of animal that used linkages.

Rachel made a caterpillar with four linkages.

Nicholas made a manta ray (one of his favorite sea creatures!).  It was quite a challenging project to take on.  He always jumps right in to some over-the-top idea instead of just doing a simple design like the examples we were given. It got a little frustrating for him, especially once we were told that we had to finish up soon because the museum was going to close early due to bad weather.  Nicholas didn't have time to even begin decorating it to look like a manta ray but the foundational work was mostly complete.  

As the vertical piece moves up and down, the lower arms push and pull the manta rays' flaps.  

We also made a moveable person as Rachel demonstrates in this video below:

Before we left, the kids played on few demonstrations outside the Maker Studio.  Nicholas had to conquer the spinning disc and I love the glimpse of satisfaction in this video when he finally got it to work the way he wanted it to.

The next Maker Studio Homeschool Afternoon will take place on Friday, February 3rd from 2:00 - 5:00.  Be sure to pre-register here.  For more information, check out the Fort Worth Museum website.

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