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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

E-mail Cheryl Bac

About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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While we wait

Uploaded: Apr 14, 2021
I needed a bit of distraction as I wait my turn to get fully vaccinated.  So I decided to take my mind off of Covid and tackle some more challenging science projects. While I love doing simple science activities with our kids, these projects were more for me.  I wanted a positive challenge.  All three of these projects, especially the last one, required a lot of time and patience.  If your family needs a bit of distraction as you wait to get fully vaccinated, I hope you enjoy these projects too:

1. Maglev train: Our kids used to play with wooden trains all of the time.  However our living room is no longer filled with elaborate train tracks all across the floor.  But our kids love playing with Lego.  So when I saw this Lego Maglev train, I knew I had to try it.  I used simple round ferrite magnet discs rather than Neodymium magnets.  And I used clay and tape instead of glue to temporarily attach the magnets to Lego pieces.  While it took some tinkering to make, it is great fun to glide the car back and forth over the track. If your kids are building their own Lego city, this is a great addition.



2. Heron’s Fountain: When I first saw this fountain I didn’t realize just how challenging it would be to make.  Our daughter wanted to make a simple machine and I thought a fountain would be perfect for her.  If you want to tackle this project, it is very important to make the entire fountain completely air-tight. I needed a lot of extra hot glue and tape to close tiny air gaps and make our fountain work.  This Heron's Fountain is not endless, but it is still impressive to see in action. 



3. Magna Gyroscope: I almost didn’t buy this kit as the reviews were quite mixed.  But, with a lot of practice, I was able to get our top to successfully hover in the air.  It was a lot of fun for me to demonstrate, but it is not something our kids could do on their own.

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